E-discovery giant targets racial injustice with program launch
A major e-discovery company has rolled out an offering, which aims to empower legal clients to tackle social and racial justice issues head-on.
Relativity launched its Justice for Change program in the US last year and plans to continue the roll out to Australian customers over the first half of 2021.
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The new program leverages the company’s cloud-based e-discovery product, RelativityOne, equipping customers with the technology needed to organise data in a more effective manner, installing a vision “to create a world where social justice and racial equity are strengthened by one’s ability to access the resources necessary to discover the truth”.
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly about the launch, Relativity managing director APAC Georgia Foster described the significance of the Justice for Change program following significant racial injustice issues being brought to light.
“When I joined here, I noticed it became very apparent, the strength of the Relativity community. And once that customer became part of that community, it really felt like they were home and that there were people that they could rely on,” Ms Foster said.
“Within the first week of me joining, we launched Justice For Change in the US and it was a very warm moment for me where I got tingles on my back and just went, ‘Oh, wow, this is a real opportunity for us to make an impact’. And whilst we had just launched it in the US, I’d put a proposal forward with the help of [senior manager service delivery APAC] Stuart Hall, where we sat, ideated for quite some hours thinking about would this be impactful for us? Would it be important for us to push Headquarters to see if we could actually expand that program to incorporate Australia?
“We felt the impact of Black Lives Matter in Australia, having our own Indigenous communities here. It was important timing for us to bring this program to Australia. There are a number of our customers who are working on racial injustice programs. And just for your clarity, the program is pledging 100 terabytes of RelativityOne to those fighting for racial justice initiatives.”
Ms Foster said the team is in the process of onboarding partners of the Justice for Change program now.
“Organisations being able to leverage our product and not be charged for it in order to perform their pro bono duties is just really special,” she said.
“We’ve engaged with a number of community programs here. We’re taking it slow. We’ve announced it to the market. There is the opportunity, if a partner comes forward or if a potential program candidate comes forward, we can connect them with a partner. They don’t need to sign up to RelativityOne and become a customer to be able to use the service. We can connect them with one of our customers or partners that already use RelativityOne.
“But it’s really important for us to make sure that we do this right. We will be engaging with the right communities, with the legal offices around the country and various law firm pro bono units to be able to make sure that we get the Indigenous communities’ input into this program to make sure that it’s really impactful for them and it’s not just something that’s been handed out to the market.
“…We are already in conversations with a number of our customers who have cases that are coming up in the first half of 2021, and looking at how this can be a sustainable program ongoing. This is not a flash in the pan, we’re not just doing it now and once it’s done, it’s done. I say there may be multiple iterations of this potential expansion into social injustice issues beyond racial.”
Ms Foster also spoke to Lawyers Weekly about the increased demand for cloud services in the Australian legal market, and what take-up is expected over the 2021 calendar year.