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Alicia M. Hawley

Alicia Hawley is of counsel in the firm's e-Discovery Analysis & Technology (e-DAT) practice. An experienced litigator and white-collar criminal defense attorney, Certified eDiscovery Specialist and award-winning innovator, Alicia has nearly two decades of experience counseling clients on both routine and complex eDiscovery issues, best practices, case and narrative development, and fact investigations. Alicia regularly serves as coordinating discovery counsel on major litigations and government investigations and counsels the firm and clients on all phases of the EDRM including:

  • Implementing defensible preservation practices and litigation holds;
  • Managing ever-evolving data sources and communication tools;
  • Navigating complex legal issues like possession, custody & control, privilege, proportionality, and seeking Rule 37(e) sanctions;
  • Negotiating ESI protocols and discovery parameters; and
  • Leveraging technology and artificial intelligence to identify and analyze key documents, maximize efficiency, lower costs, and create thoughtful narratives that support critical legal strategy.

As both a litigator and a technical professional, Alicia offers a distinctive perspective to clients on the practical implications of eDiscovery processes and procedures. She has represented Fortune 500 companies, banks, broker-dealers, C-suite executives, and financial institutions in investigations and prosecutions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Ohio State Attorney General, and the Illinois Inspector General. She has also represented clients in a discovery counsel capacity in commercial civil disputes, employment litigation, trademark and trade secret litigation, and matters in front of the International Trade Commission.

Alicia recently argued and won a progressive decision regarding the use of technology-assisted review (TAR) in Livingston et al v. City of Chicago.  

In 2021, Alicia won the Attorney Tech Evangelist Award—voted on by her peers and recognizing her as the one attorney in the United States who best: 

  • Leverages technology in unique and resourceful ways
  • Collaborates with colleagues across departments to bust silos and drive innovation
  • Invests in innovation within her organization and champions the adoption of new eDiscovery tools
  • Keeps a pulse on changes emerging in the field and finds ways to use technology to prepare her organization for the next wave of eDiscovery
  • Shares her knowledge with all facets of the eDiscovery community including writing articles on industry trends and speaking at events

In addition to her client work, Alicia is a well-regarded thought leader in TAR, eDiscovery case law, the nuts and bolts of eDiscovery, and artificial intelligence. She currently chairs two drafting teams for the Sedona Conference Working Group 1—on Initial Disclosures and Lifting Legal Holds—and previously served on the drafting team for the 2023 TAR Primer.  

Alicia has lectured extensively on the topics of eDiscovery, trial advocacy, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and public speaking, and has held adjunct faculty positions at Northwestern University School of Law, Loyola University School of Law, Northwestern University, and Elmhurst University. 

Alicia dedicates a notable portion of her practice to pro bono matters—recently featured on a July 2021 episode of Dateline NBC. Her pro bono experience includes a state post-conviction and federal habeas corpus petition alleging illegal search and seizure and judicial bias, an executive clemency petition, numerous successful asylum petitions for individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries, and representation of victims of domestic violence seeking Orders of Protection.

Prior to joining the firm, Alicia served as a senior discovery attorney in the Chicago office of another international law firm, where she focused her practice on e-discovery, artificial intelligence, and machine learning in complex litigation and dispute resolution.

  • Attorney Tech Evangelist Award Recipient, Relativity Fest, October 2021
  • Certified eDiscovery Specialist, Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists, 2020-Present
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 1
    • “Lifting Legal Holds” Drafting Team Chair, 2024
    • “The Sufficiency of FRCP 26(a)(1) Initial Disclosures” Drafting Team Co-Chair, 2023-Present
    • “Lifting Legal Holds” Brainstorming Group Leader, 2022-2023
    • TAR Case Primer Drafting Team Member, 2021-2023
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 6
    • “The Sufficiency of FRCP 26(a)(1) Initial Disclosures” Brainstorming Group Co-Lead, 2023
  • Women in eDiscovery Chicago Chapter
    • Executive Director, 2022-Present
    • Meetings Director, 2020-2022
  • Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists, Member, 2019-Present
  • National Immigrant Justice Center, Asylum Representation, 2018-2021
  • 7th Circuit Council on eDiscovery and Information, Committee Member, 2018-2020
  • Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, 2013-2019
  • American Mock Trial Association, Director, 2005-2017
  • Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Committee Chair, 2004-2007
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation/Lawyers in the Classroom, Volunteer Teacher, 2003-2014
  • “Critical Thinking: An Important Durable Skill,” Virtual Lunch with Leaders, December 2023
  • “The Law Firm of the Future,” Everlaw Summit, October 2023
  • “AI in Legal: Managing the Risks and Maximizing the Value,” Bluestar Webinar, October 2023 (Moderator)
  • “Legal Tech in the Mainstream: What’s Missing from the Conversation around Digital Evidence, GenAI and Law,” On Point 2023 Conference, September 2023
  • “Guardians of Generative AI: Upholding Ethics and Law in an Age of Unreliable Output,” Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists, September 2023
  • “The Judicial and Legislative Climate Surrounding Generative AI,” World Legal Tech Summit, September 2023
  • eDiscovery Leaders Live” podcast, Featured Guest, May 2023
  • "Ethics of eDiscovery & Privacy Practice," The Master's Conference, Chicago, April 2023 (Moderator)
  • "Navigating the Intersection between eDiscovery and Privacy Law: When Obligations Overlap and/or Conflict," The Master's Conference Chicago, April 2023
  • "On the Cutting Edge of Short Message Review: Slicing, Search, Review and More," The Master's Conference, Chicago, April 2023
  • "Connecting the Dots in a Complex Data Universe," Legal Week 2023, March 2023
  • "Webinar: TAR Case Law Primer, Second Edition," Sedona Conference, March 2023 
  • "Key Trends in eDiscovery Rulings," Women in eDiscovery San Francisco Chapter, January 2023
  • "Key Trends in eDiscovery Rulings," Women in eDiscovery Denver Chapter, October 2022
  • "Harnessing the Power of Modern Data," The Masters Conference/Cloud Nine, August 2022
  • "The Trials and Tribulations of Modern Data," Women in eDiscovery Chicago Chapter, July 2022 (Moderator)
  • "Telling the Full Story: Leveraging the data between the documents," The Master's Conference Denver, June 2022
  • "Moving Legal Beyond TAR with AI," The Masters Conference Chicago, May 2022
  • "eDiscovery After Hours" podcast, Featured Guest, January 2022
  • "2021 eDiscovery Case Law Retrospective," Women in eDiscovery Chicago Chapter, November 2021
  • "TAR on Trial: From Da Silva Moore to Today," ACEDS and Relativity, June 2021
  • "Managing Advances in Technology and eDiscovery," American Bar Association, May 2021
  • "Microsoft 365, Chats, and TAR, Oh My!" The Masters Conference, February 2021
  • "Demystifying Technology Assisted Review," Innovative Driven Webinar, December 2020
  • "Leveraging Document Review to Build a Narrative," Virtual One Conference, June 2020
  • "Document Collection: Practical Tips," Women in eDiscovery Chicago Chapter, July 2013
  • "Expert Testimony from Beginning to End," Chicago Bar Association, January 2005
  • "Taking and Defending Depositions," Chicago Bar Association, September 2004 (Moderator)
  • Co-Author, "TAR Primer, Second Edition," Sedona Conference Working Group 1, 2023
  • Co-Author, Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts by Thomson Reuters, “Litigation Technology” Chapter, 2022
  • "Document Review Then and Now," July 2011
  • "Minimizing Unlimited Consequences of an Employee’s Covert Cooperation with Law Enforcement,” CBA Record, July/August 2005
Additional News & Event Pages
  • “Attys Navigate Discovery Hurdles with Chats, Personal Data,” Law360, 25 April 2023
  • Twisted Loyalty,” Dateline NBC, 16 July 2021
  • Infamous 1993 Bucktown Murderer Says He Deserves a Second Chance,” NBC5 Chicago, 15 July 2021
  • “Inmate’s Supporters Ask for Clemency in Infamous 1993 Bucktown Murder,” The Chicago Tribune, 11 July 2017
  • “The Black Widow,” Investigation Discovery’s FBI: Criminal Pursuit, 8 April 2013
  • “The House of Suh,” MSNBC and HBO, 17 July 2011
  • “Teens Get Chance to Argue Case at Mock Trial Event,” Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 23 June 2011
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