3 min read

How Many Users Work in Your Cases

Featured Image

The number of users that access your eDiscovery platform at any given time is a factor in which solution is right for you. Users are generally determined by how many document reviewers are needed to look at documents to make coding decisions. They make up the largest number of users in any given system.

User Sharing and Activity Tracking

Most platforms require a user license for each person and don't allow sharing of usernames and passwords. This allows for attribution of actions taken by a specific user, which is critical if, for example, someone incorrectly performs a redaction or improperly creates a production – If you're sharing users, it isn't possible to see who made a mistake. With AI technology that tracks user behaviors and choices, sharing users alters the ability to monitor coding habits as well. It's imperative to understand how much tracking information is captured and determine what type of analytics you want on user activity when considering an eDiscovery platform. If your system doesn't have user tracking, look into how you might be able to use an add-on tool to your advantage.

Types of Users

User types typically fall into three categories: document reviewers, project managers, and client administrators. Document reviewers scroll through documents, perform searches, and make coding decisions such as relevant, hot, or privileged. Project managers generally have greater access to additional platform features. They are typically responsible for loading data, creating productions, handling exceptions, and checking reviewer coding behavior. Their management-level access allows them to oversee a project's success. Most tools are intuitive enough that project managers and document reviewers don't need significant training – it's possible to get started after watching a few videos and reviewing a quick-start guide. The last type of user is a client administrator, who has the greatest access to a project. They help all project managers and reviewers with issues, handle complicated exceptions, and have advanced training to understand the nuances of rarely performed activities.

If you frequently have to add new users and bring them up to speed, being able to do so with an easily operated tool is a major efficiency boost. Note that users can occupy more than one of the mentioned roles, which is common in firms that don't have dedicated litigation support staff; in such an instance, having an expert vendor to assist with complex issues can be very helpful.

User Calculation and Billing

When deciding how many users you need, it's important to understand how they are calculated, especially if you pay for users that don't log in for a while and if you're required to have more than one user per person (a legacy approach that is becoming less common). For example, a law firm with a dozen legal professionals in litigation might only need five users on a monthly basis because all the litigators won't necessarily be performing document review in a month. If they are, one would hopefully expect they are making enough money to cover whatever user fees the system charges.

It's also important to ask questions about how you can set up, train, and get billed for your users. For instance, some systems only bill for users that actually log in and open a project (not training or demo), whereas others charge you every month just to have a user available. Knowing this can help you understand your monthly spending and choose a platform that works with the number of users and type of billing you need.


Knowing how many users you'll typically need, the types of users you have, and the type of eDiscovery cases those users will be handling is crucial to evaluate eDiscovery pricing and pick the right solution. Whether you are looking to enter the world of self-serve eDiscovery or seeking a solution that best fits your needs, users are an essential factor in the decision and your ultimate eDiscovery success.