Paula Schaefer, associate professor in the College of Law, has become nationally recognized for her recent work in the emerging field of E-Discovery. During the pre-trial phase of a civil lawsuit, the parties often embark on the discovery process, in which each party can obtain evidence from the opposing party. A party might be required to produce documents and other evidence for review by its opponent. Historically, this might mean reviewing thousands of dusty documents housed in a warehouse.
Today, of course, most business records are kept electronically, and the discovery process has had to adapt in recent years to this important technological change. Schaefer has been in the frontlines in examining this major transformation to the litigation process and in suggesting ways in which discovery must adapt and evolve. She writes and gives presentations in this important new area and has also developed an E-Discovery course at the Law College.
Schaefer’s 2011 article on how to use in-class simulations in the teaching of E-Discovery, published in the Nevada Law Review, received wide notice. She has spoken on this topic before national audiences at conferences, including the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, and a Junior Faculty Forum at Michigan State University. Schaefer’s work has been noted positively in blogs devoted to issues in legal education. She has also explored related topics in her research, such as inadvertent disclosure of confidential information during the discovery process.
Schaefer has been a member of the law faculty since 2008 and taught previously at the Harmon College of Business Administration at the University of Central Missouri. She also has worked at the international law firms of Bryan Cave LLP and Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, and clerked for Justice Ann K. Covington of the Missouri Supreme Court. Schaefer is a graduate of the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri School of Law, where she served as Note and Comment Editor for the Missouri Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif.