In August, 2011 the ABA House of Delegates adopted six new resolutions to amend the Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Among the resolutions –
- Lawyers must “keep up” with technology relevant to the client and the representation; and
- Lawyers must ensure protection of electronically stored confidential client information.
So what does this mean? The resolutions are vague. But the fact of the matter is that technology affects not only every area of law but the day to day running of a firm as well. Some recent example that have made headlines:
- You consider hiring a new employee. Can you “friend” them via social media to see their page?
- Your client tells you to send a document to their Dropbox account. Or, you’d like them to access their documents via Dropbox. Do you know the terms under which Dropbox does – or does not – protect data?
- How “confidential” is a videoconference with a client? Or a webconference?
Many firms are increasingly moving to remote solutions. What does that involve? Where are the servers located?
So what resources are available to attorneys who still struggle with computers, let alone deal with these new trends in technology?
- Talk to others.
- Attend CLE courses.
- But above all, get a legal technology team in place.
Choose an I.T. firm with staff experienced in law office technology. Designate staff members, who are open to learning about the software you own, as points of contact. This is particularly helpful in the realm of software.
And hire legal software/technology consultants to advise you in the areas of the software you own, E-Discovery, and developing technology policies for your firm.
Dana Riel is currently in Chicago, attending the annual ABA Tech Conference. She will be sending out information about the conference via Twitter and reporting on trends in blog posts to come. Stay tuned and watch our site for more information….