ACEDS Hardship Waiver
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The Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS) understands that as a self-regulated profession, lawyers and those who serve them, including bar associations and other legal organizations, have a vested interest in educating and serving populations without or with limited financial resources. This policy is designed to alleviate pressures in such cases and ensure that our members are treated equitably.

Persons wishing to apply for a hardship waiver should send an email to ACEDS Member Services at with the subject line “Hardship Waiver.” The email should detail why the candidate is deserving of a hardship waiver and provide proof of unemployment or other financial hardship. Unemployed persons will be given preference. Persons with income above $50,000 annually normally will not be considered. For courses costing over $500, attorneys and others 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

*Documentation will be destroyed upon grant, or expiration of appeal timeline.

CEDS - Current CEDS members who experience financial hardship are eligible for a one-year membership, and one-year CEDS certification extension.  The CEDS certification requirements of CEDS credits attestation must be completed.  CEDS 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 an E-Discovery Essentials course.  If the member successfully completes the E-Discovery Essentials course, they are to receive a certificate of completion. Current members who have completed E-Discovery Essentials can request a Certification Package, good for one year.  This should 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 Essentials certificate course.  

Friends of ACEDS - Organizations without financial resources who provide a unique service to the ACEDS community can request to be a "Friends of ACEDS" affiliate.  Upon agreement, they will receive Bronze affiliate benefits for a one-year period.

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 Executive Director and are final.

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