ACEDS Hardship Waiver
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The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) is dedicated to creating opportunities for our members and advancing the careers of all people, regardless of their personal circumstances. We understand, too, that as a professional association we have a vested interest in educating and serving populations without or with limited financial resources. Therefore, ACEDS has developed a policy to alleviate financial pressures in such cases and ensure that our members and future members are treated equitably and given every opportunity to succeed.

Anyone wishing to apply for a hardship waiver should complete the form below. The submission should detail why the candidate is deserving of a hardship waiver and provide proof of unemployment or other financial hardship. Unemployed individuals will be given preference. Persons with income above $50,000 annually normally will not be considered. For courses costing over $500, those who qualify will receive at least a 50% reduction in the course fee(s).


Acceptable Documentation (Please redact personal information):

  • W-2
  • Paycheck
  • Tax Return
  • Unemployment Notice

CEDS - Current ACEDS members who are CEDS certified and who experience financial hardship are eligible for a one-year membership, and one-year CEDS certification extension. The requirement that CEDS certified members provide an affidavit attesting to their ongoing training and education in e-discovery is still required. Members who are CEDS certified can also request a career-focused consultation.

Members - Current non-certified members who experience financial hardship are eligible for a one-year membership extension, and the  E-Discovery Executive Certificate Program (eDEx).  If the member successfully completes the eDEx course, they are to receive a certificate of completion. If after completing the eDEx course members are still experiencing financial constraints, they may request a Certification Package, good for one year. This will extend their membership by a year as well.

Non-Members - Those who have never been a member or lapsed members can request and receive a one-year membership.  After attending 5 complimentary webinars, they may request and receive the E-Discovery Executive course.  

Friends of ACEDS - Organizations without financial resources who provide a unique service to the ACEDS community can request to become an “Affinity Partner” with ACEDS, which may result in traded products, services and promotional opportunities that are mutually beneficial.

Appeals - Within 30 days of a denial, an appeal request may be submitted with an explanation of circumstances.  Appeals will be decided by the ACEDS President and are final.


Note: Applying for the hardship waiver program at ACEDS is not a guarantee that any individual will receive a hardship waiver and ACEDS reserves the right in it’s sole discretion to change or modify the program at any time.



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