UM Offers Interdisciplinary Big Data Summer Course on Electronic Discovery, Law

April 30, 2014

MISSOULA – With national Big Data Week approaching, the University of Montana has announced a big data-focused summer course for business, computer science and law students covering the process and law surrounding electronic discovery.

Software giant Symantec has donated a server, software and data for the two-week course, which will teach students how to search for evidence electronically and decide how to proceed with findings, based on both law and business practices.

The course, titled eDiscovery Law and Practice, offers hands-on experience exploring a common use for big data and Symantec’s software Clearwell.

“Clearwell allows people to identify some data items you want and then have the software find other, similar data rapidly,” said course instructor and UM computer science Professor Joel Henry. “Imagine you have 200,000 emails and only 5,000 are relevant to the case or business decision. How do you find those 5,000?”

The course will be held in the evenings Aug. 11-22. It offers 25 spaces and is open to UM students and practicing attorneys, who can attend in person or remotely via VisionNet. Continuing legal education credits will be available for the course. The first week will be held in the classroom and the second in the Cyber Innovation Lab, located on campus.

“The students will not only learn the skills, but how to apply those skills in a real-world or business setting,” said Henry, who also holds a law degree. “This will enhance the law students’ ability work with business and technology professionals.”

Henry said UM is the first university to teach this course and is serving as Symantec’s pilot for its Academic Alliance Program, in which the company partners with institutions to offer students cutting-edge products and technology curriculum from industry leaders.

UM students can register for the course through the School of Business Administration or School of Law online at Those seeking CLE credit can register online at

For more information call Henry at 406-243-2218 or email




Contact: Joel Henry, professor, UM Department of Computer Sciences, 406-243-2218,