International #eDiscoveryRockstar CEDS Spotlight – United Kingdom: Rachel McAdams, Manager, EMEA, Global eDiscovery and Data Advisory at Baker McKenzie
This exclusive series in partnership with ACEDS celebrates the hard work, dedication and professional achievement of International #eDiscoveryRockstars. In the spotlight on High Performance Counsel this week is Rachel McAdams, Manager, EMEA, Global eDiscovery and Data Advisory at Baker McKenzie. Congratulations Rachel!
Please share your thoughts on the certification training, how long it took you to prepare for the exam, thoughts on the exam and how it has benefitted you- both the knowledge gained from training and certification and being part of the ACEDS community as a whole. (Whole experience)
When I was preparing for the CEDS exam, I spent some time upfront thinking about where the gaps in my knowledge were, and focused my efforts on those. I gave myself a few months to study for the exam, as I didn’t have a lot of time to set aside from my daily work. So my efforts were fairly evenly spread over those few months, as I tried to avoid last minute panic!
During my study time, I read through the CEDS manual and also went through the ACEDSeDiscovery Essentials course. I saved the practice exam questions until the last few weeks leading up to the exam, and found those very useful to prepare for the style of questions on the exam itself.
The startling thing about the CEDS exam is the breadth of material covered. The material covers everything from what settings to use during data processing and collection, to budgeting, to data protection and eDiscovery practices internationally. I was immediately able to use what I learnt from the exam process in my day to day work. One of the other really great aspects of the exam is that its software neutral, which means you can focus on the “why” rather than the “how”.
The most immediate benefit I’ve had from becoming part of the ACEDS community is access to the continuing development materials. The ACEDS webinar series covers a range of topics, and I always and try join the sessions if possible. I also love how ACEDS has active community groups locally, and I’ve attended ACEDS London events when I’m in town.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET CERTIFIED? DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CERTIFICATIONS?
I am always looking for my next challenge, and when I found out about CEDS I decided to give it a go. I wanted to find a certification which would complement my other certifications in specific technologies and software.
I am also a Certified Relativity Expert and have various other certifications with in forensic collection and analysis.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR BACKGROUND OF EDISCOVERY EXPERIENCE:
I started working in eDiscovery just over 4 years ago. Prior to that, I had been completing a PhD in physics – which initially seemed to be totally unrelated to what I was doing, but I found that the skills I had developed during that time of analytical thinking, problem solving and even coding were directly transferable to eDiscovery.
My first role was with one of the Big 4, where I worked within the Forensic Technology Services team. I moved to my current role in Baker McKenzie in February 2018. My day-to-day work involves consulting with our lawyers globally on the best practices for eDiscovery, acting as a project manager for our active eDiscovery matters, and generally promoting the use of cutting-edge technology to solve eDiscovery problems.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND OUR CEDS TRAINING/CERTIFICATION TO OTHER?
Yes! It’s a great certification to fill in any knowledge gaps you might have, and validate your experience within the eDiscovery community.
ADVICE TO OTHERS LOOKING TO TAKE THE EXAM?
Spend some time with the material provided by ACEDS, but be prepared to do some independent research on some of the topics which are covered to make sure you have a full understanding of the topics.
ANY OTHER THOUGHTS TO SHARE?
I’d just like to thank the ACEDS team for all their efforts!