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Electronic Discovery Proficiency Certificate


The Electronic Discovery Proficiency Certificate is designed to enhance the skills of paralegals in the field of electronic discovery.

Due to an increased use in computers and digital devices, an estimated 80% of legal documents are kept entirely in digital form. Over the past decade, a body of case law has emerged to regulate electronic discovery ("ediscovery"), or the practice of exchanging electronically stored information, during litigation. This practice area deals specifically with the ediscovery process and the attendant identification, collection, processing and review of electronically stored information.

This certificate builds upon the Paralegal Studies and Digital Forensics programs offered at the College, since the emerging ediscovery field requires training in both of these areas in order for paralegals to have a complete understanding of the ediscovery lifecycle. Digital forensics provides insight on the early stages of the ediscovery lifecycle, while the Paralegal Studies Program provides instruction on the remaining stages.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Electronic Discovery proficiency certificate, students will be able to:

  • Describe the civil litigation process and the law, and procedural rules underpinning discovery
  • Describe how ediscovery relates to civil litigation
  • Articulate the different stages of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ediscovery database software programs that includes the organization of data and the evaluation of electronically stored information for relevance and privilege
  • Conduct the acquisition and processing of digital media

Entrance Requirements:

This certificate is open to interested students. New students are normally required to take the College’s placement test at their time of entry. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of the certificate.


Course Number Course Title Prerequisites Credits
PLS 101 Introduction to Paralegal Studies   3
PLS 121 Civil Litigation I  PLS 101 3
CIS 105 Computer Systems Maintenance   4
DF 101 Digital Forensics I  CIS 105 and JUS 101 or PLS 101 3
PLS 215 Electronic Discovery  PLS 121 3
Total Credits: 16

Successful Completion:

Successful completion of the certificate requires a grade of "C" or better in each of the courses listed. PLS 215 and DF 101 must be taken within five years of beginning the certificate.  Students whose behavior is viewed as inconsistent with professional standards may be dropped from the certificate program pending the results of a departmental hearing. All students are required to sign an integrity statement agreeing to abide by standards of ethics and integrity in all assignments and undertakings.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130.  Telephone (215) 751-8450; or call the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.

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