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How to Bring eDiscovery In House from Seasoned Self-Service Adopters

Co-authored by Alison Shier and Brooks Thompson

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Over the past several years, the ediscovery industry has seen a rise in the popularity and adoption of self-service platforms. Now, more than ever, legal teams want the ability to reduce costs, increase efficiencies, and leverage internal teams to handle specific matters in house. As the usage of self-service models has increased, so have the number of technology platforms and service offerings available to law firms and corporations. When contemplating the best model for your team, it is important to consider a number of key factors, which we have outlined below:

How to Bring eDiscovery In House from Seasoned Self-Service Adopters


Know Your Use Cases - It’s important to understand your use cases before selecting a self-service platform. Your use cases will inform the technology and workflows that are best suited to support your specific in-house needs. Are you a corporation that wants to start with third-party subpoenas and internal investigations, but have room to grow into managing litigation? Are you a law firm that wants to manage small matters up to 100 GB, or is your goal to manage all matters big or small? Do you need a platform with basic functionality, or do you want to leverage analytics and TAR? Answering these types of questions, and understanding the profile of your use cases can guide you to the right solution.

Understand the Hurdles to Insourcing - Even if you are confident that bringing a portion of your ediscovery portfolio in house or shifting to a new in-house technology will lead to concrete time and cost savings, there are still some common hurdles you should be aware of. More often than not, these objections are rooted in concerns around staffing, budget, security, and the time commitment involved in operationalizing discovery in house. Although these are valid hurdles, you can overcome them with a solid onboarding and implementation plan and a well thought out self-service ediscovery business case. Discover more on how to overcome top objections in this related article.

Ensure a Rock-Solid Implementation - So, you’ve made the decision to bring ediscovery in house and you’re ready to take the plunge. Now you need a plan of action. Having a deliverable and measured implementation strategy is critical in ensuring the success of your in-house ediscovery deployment. How can you guarantee success? Be sure to consider the following items before you begin the rollout process. Involve key stakeholders early in the process and identify your internal champion for the in-house service, build and test a data migration plan, look for opportunities to sunset superfluous technology, roll out a technical training plan, work with your vendor to document reporting and billing requirements, create an in-house playbook, and lastly, create a plan to drive adoption. A platform is only helpful in achieving your goals if it is being used!

Self-service ediscovery platforms are here to stay. The opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings are real. Whether you are trying to address specific and limited use cases for self service, or you plan to manage 95% of discovery in house, be sure to vet your partner’s technical capabilities as well as the professional services offerings. Make sure you can get the support you need, when you need it. Don’t be discouraged by barriers to entry. With the advances in cybersecurity, improvements to platform scalability and functionality, and flexibility of billing models, almost all objections can be overcome by partnering with a provider that can help you right size your solution. Lastly, once you make the decision to move your ediscovery in house, do it with your eyes wide open and a plan to ensure you can execute against your goals in a fashion and on a timeline that works for you and your team.

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About the Author

Senior Director, Spectra Operations & Support | Brooks is an ediscovery professional with over a decade of experience in the industry holding roles in account and project management as well as a leader of client and product teams. He specializes in designing and implementing cost-efficient, automated ediscovery workflows and products for enterprise clients. In his current role, Brooks directs Spectra support, marketing, development, pricing, and sales in the US and EU. Brooks has a B.A. from the University of Washington.

Profile Photo of Brooks Thompson