Table of Contents
- Accessing assignment groups
- Creating assignment groups
- Important note on dynamic assignment groups
On Everlaw, individual assignments are organized into assignment groups. Assignment groups make it easy to assign and administer multiple batches of documents (i.e., assignments) at once.
For example, your review team may want to perform a first pass review of documents in your project, and then follow up with a second pass review of those documents. If so, you could create two assignment groups on your project: a First Pass Review group and a Second Pass Review group. Each assignment group (i.e., First Pass Review and Second Pass Review) might have multiple batches of documents (i.e., assignments) that are assigned to different users on your project. The administrator of each assignment group administers all assignments in that group (e.g., sets batch size, assigns specific users, determines review criteria).
Accessing assignment groups
While all users can receive individual assignments, only those with the proper permissions can access assignments groups (i.e., the administrative dashboard controlling multiple assignments). You can read more about configuring feature permissions here. Below are the necessary permissions for accessing assignment groups:
- Receive Assignment Groups: Other users can share assignment groups with you, with either View or Allocate, Share, and Delete permissions on the specific assignment group.
- Create Assignment Groups: You can create and administer your own assignment groups. Others can also share assignment groups with you.
- Admin Assignment Groups: You can view and administer all assignment groups on the project.
Creating assignment groups
You can create assignment groups from the Assignments Groups page or from the results table. To navigate to the Assignments Groups page, click on the Project Management icon and select Assignment Groups.
Once you are on the Assignment Groups page, you can create a new assignment group by selecting "+ Create New" in the upper left corner of the page. This will open up a wizard that will walk you through the creation of your assignment group.
Alternatively, you can create new assignments from the homepage by clicking the plus icon next to the Assignments header. If you don’t have any assignments for which you can self-assign documents, you will be taken to the assignment group creation wizard on the Assignments Groups page. If you do have the option to self-assign documents, a menu will appear. Select [Create New] and you will be taken to the Assignments Groups page where you can create your assignment.
Creating assignments from the results table
You can create a new assignment group or add documents to an existing static assignment group with the documents retrieved through a search:
- Build your search (click here to learn how to build searches)
- Go to the associated results table. Click "Batch" on the results table toolbar, and then choose "Assign." Note that to create a dynamic assignment group, you must add all documents in the results table; adding only a subset will create a static assignment group.
- A wizard will walk you through the creation of an assignment
NOTE: If you choose to create an assignment group from the results table, be aware of any time parameters included in your search. These will alter dynamic assignment groups and may create unintended changes to the documents in your assignment group. For example, if you create an assignment group for “all documents rated ‘hot’ in the last day,” documents rated over 24 hours ago will be automatically removed. This may be undesired behavior if you want all hot documents to be included in the assignment group.
Assignment groups step-by-step
Whether you created an assignment group from the results table or from the home page, you will be directed to an assignment group creation wizard. There are five steps to complete.
First, you must establish your inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria determines what documents will be included in your assignment group. Notice that when adding a new assignment from the homepage, the search query builder is modified to include fewer search terms than the regular search query builder.
Next, you have the option of adding documents to an existing static assignment group, or creating a new assignment group. To add documents to an existing assignment group, select the assignment name from the drop-down list. To create a new assignment group, type the desired name into the input box. If you are creating an assignment from the results table, this step will include an additional option to add the selected documents to an existing assignment. You can also use the input box as a text filter to find existing assignment groups by name.
Note: you can only add documents from the results table to existing static assignment groups and not to existing dynamic assignment groups since dynamic ones automatically add documents based on their inclusion criteria (click here to read more about dynamic and static assignment groups).
If you are creating a new assignment group, you will need to confirm or change the review criteria. These are the conditions that the documents must meet to be considered reviewed. In most projects, the default review criteria is Any Rating, meaning documents that have been rated in any way will be considered reviewed. Note that project administrators may change the default review criteria in Project Settings.
In this step, you can change the review criteria to something other than the default for this assignment. Once the review criteria has been changed, the summary text on the left of the wizard will change to Custom. If you are satisfied with the default review criteria, ignore this step by clicking Next.
If you are adding to an existing static assignment, you will not see this step. You can only change the review criteria of an existing assignment from the assignment page itself.
Next, you can choose which reviewers you wish to assign documents to. Select users by clicking on their names in the drop-down list, or filter the list by typing a string into the input box. All selected users will be highlighted in yellow. You can also choose to skip this step, and leave all the documents unassigned within the assignment group.
To see how document access management may affect assigning documents to users, please visit this help article.
Next, you need to configure several options for your assignment group. You must decide:
- How the work in the assignment group should be allocated between reviewers: by percentage of page count, or by number of documents
- Whether or not the assignment group is dynamic or static
Whether a specific review window layout should be used
Step 5a: Assign by pages
If you choose the “page” option, you can then determine how you want to allocate the assigned documents as a percentage of the total page count. By default, the pages are allocated evenly among the chosen reviewers, but you can input an arbitrary percentage for each respective reviewer. Note that Everlaw will adjust the allocation to ensure that documents stay whole.
If you want to keep a percentage of the pages unassigned, allocate the percentages such that the total assigned to reviewers is under 100%. The remaining pages will be unassigned. If you want to allow the reviewers to self-assign documents from the unassigned pool, check the self-assign box at the bottom.
If the assignment group does not have a default batch size, you can set one. This determines how many documents you want a reviewer to receive each time they self-assign documents. Leaving the batch size box blank gives reviewers the option to set their own batch size when self-assigning. Self-assigning can help you automate review workflows because reviewers do not need to rely on you for document assignment.
On the user table in the allocation tab you are also provided with high level information about a given user’s progress through any and all of their existing assignments. Hovering over the progress badge will provide more information, such as the total number of individual assignments the reviewer has, and the total number of documents they’ve reviewed out of the total assigned to them.
Step 5b: Assign by document
The options for assigning by document are very similar, except that in the last step instead of allocating percentages, you can assign an exact number of documents for each reviewer.
Once you click “assign” a task will run in the background, and a notification will appear once the document group has been created, and/or the documents have been successfully assigned. The appropriate cards will be added to the home page and shared via Message Center.
Step 5c: Set assignment group type
You must also decide whether or not the assignment group is dynamic or static (click here to learn about dynamic vs static assignment groups). If you have a dynamic assignment group, the search criteria you used to pull up the set of documents will be called your “inclusion criteria” for that assignment group. If your inclusion criteria for a dynamic assignment group includes inclusion in a binder and you intend to give reviewers the ability to self-assign documents, the relevant binder will need to be shared with the reviewers. Otherwise, reviewers will not be able to assign themselves documents. If you are choosing a static assignment group, or do not intend to allow reviewers to self-assign documents, you do not need to share any binder that is part of the assignment's inclusion criteria.
The inclusion criteria can be changed later from the assignment admin dashboard.
Note: if you are adding to an existing assignment group, you cannot change the assignment group type from static to dynamic, or vice versa. Additionally, if you are creating a new assignment group from the results table and add some, but not all, of the documents in the results table to the assignment group, you will not be able to choose between static and dynamic. Your new assignment group will be static.
Step 5d: Add a default review window layout (optional)
You may also choose to add a default review window layout for the assignment group. A user who is part of the assignment group (whether initially specified or added to the group later) is given access to the default layout for that group, and will see the specified layout when they first open their assignment from their assignment card. (If you choose not to add a default review window layout, reviewers will see their last used layout instead.)
You can access the options for a default review window layout for the assignment group by clicking on the dropdown menu at the bottom of the assignment group creation window. When viewing and updating the assignment group, you can (re)set a layout as the default layout for this assignment group. New assignments and in-progress assignments would then default to the newly specified layout.
A reviewer is ‘in’ an assignment and sees the default layout for that assignment if:
- The reviewer has accessed the assignment by clicking on a “My Assignment” card on the home page.
- The reviewer has accessed the assignment by clicking the “View unreviewed documents” button from a “My Assignment” card on the home page .
- The reviewer has accessed the assignment by clicking on the assignment card of an assignment shared with them via platform message.
- Refining a search from any of the above.
While completing the review work of an assignment, a reviewer can still edit the layout, or load a different layout, if desired. This then becomes the layout that they see. However, if the default layout for the assignment group is changed, then the next time the reviewer opens the review window, they’ll see the layout currently specified as the default for the assignment group.
Respecting document groups and sort order when assigning documents
If a document group setting is specified when creating an assignment group, the allocation of documents will respect document family relationships. Document group settings (e.g. group by attachments) can be specified whether creating assignment groups from the Assignments page or from the Results Table.
To preserve the sort order of documents, you will need to create the assignment from a results table using the Batch, Assign function. You cannot set a sort order when creating an assignment group by using the “Create new” option on from the Assignments page. Instead, where the document sort order will be defaulted to Bates number.
Group and sort order will be respected upon reassignment. However, you will not be able to change the sort order once an assignment group has been created. All documents added to the assignment will be in the same sort order established originally. For example, if you want the allocation of documents to respect attachment families and be sorted by Date Sent, group the results table by “attachments” and sort by Date Sent before creating an assignment group .
Let’s walk through how this ordering impacts documents added to an assignment group at a later time. If you have grouped or sorted your documents by Order A when initially creating your assignment group:
- Any documents that are later added to that assignment group’s unassigned document pool will follow Order A when they are eventually assigned to a user. This is true even if those documents were grouped or sorted by Order B before being added to the unassigned document pool.
- If, however, the additional documents are assigned to a user directly (rather than first being added to the unassigned document pool), the documents will follow Order B.
Important note on dynamic assignment groups
Dynamic assignment groups allow you to specify an inclusion criteria. As review progresses, all documents matching that criteria will be automatically added to the assignment group.
When choosing to create a dynamic assignment group, any unassigned document that no longer matches the inclusion criteria will disappear from the assignment group. If you want all the documents matching your inclusion criteria at the time of the assignment group creation to be reviewed, you should assign out all the documents during this step as a precaution.