E-discovery is hot. As well it should be with the explosion in data volume and relatively swift (for the legal market) transition from paper to digital data. A just-released salary survey of law firm EDD and litigation support staff puts some parameters on the market demand. 

The Cowen Group is a “leading search firm specializing in staffing and recruiting for Litigation Support, Practice Support and Electronic Data Discovery from coast to coast and abroad.” This week they released survey data on law firm salaries for litigation support and EDD; also included is the number of searches by position type that the firm has conducted since 2005. Register here to get the The Cowen Group 2008 Salary Survey.

Some highlights I found interesting:

  • Job descriptions and salary ranges for positions from lit supp analyst up to firm-wide director of litigation and practice support. The salary range, for major east coast cities, is from $60k to $325k
  • Eyeballing the time series data presented graphically, I’d say salaries for most positions have increased 50% over the last 3 or 4 years
  • The number of searches for most positions has doubled in the same time period. Searches for senior positions in 2008, however, seem to be slowing down. This makes sense: firms have hired more senior managers over the last couple of years and asked them to build out their departments.
  • No surprise that NYC positions pay more than DC or Philadelphia. My guess though is the difference does not suffice to really cover the higher cost of living in NYC.

Granted, the above are based on one firm’s experience and we have no data on Cowen Group’s relative market share for search. Nonetheless, given the paucity of good data in this market, I will take what I can get and what I see supports the more anecdotal evidence I’ve heard.