Upcoming LPMT Programs and Training

Don’t miss upcoming CLE programs and free training sessions:

Coming up in August:

  • How to… Take Control of Social Media with Hootsuite
  • How Lawyers Can Use Collaboration Tools

Coming up in September:

  • How to… Use MS OneNote for Project Management
  • How to… Automate Functions in MS Word
  • Smarter, Better, Faster: Document Assembly

Coming up in October:

  • How to…  Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
  • How to…  Manage Complex Tasks in Basecamp
  • How to…  Use MS Outlook Add-ons
  • Intersection of Ethics and Technology

PLUS Law Firm Startup Bootcamp on Oct. 4 – everything you need to know to start (or update) your law firm!

Register online at the Chicago Bar Association – CLE - CLE Seminars  and check the LPMT “Upcoming Programs” calendar for program descriptions, dates and times.

New How to… and CLE Archives Available

New archives available:

Did you know that if you registered for a CBA LPMT CLE program or training class you can go back and watch the recording any time?  Simply log in to the Chicago Bar Association website and look under “Webcasts” and then select “My Seminars” from the drop down menu.  If you missed a session, the links to the recordings will be available on the LPMT site listed in the Program Archives link under “Upcoming Programs”. Just register to watch.

Also, all Chicago Bar Association members have access to previous progam materials, as well as white papers and other information.  Click on the “Articles (CBA Members Only)”  tab in the site header.

Power Down: Business Continuity Planning for Law Firms

The derecho that swept from Chicago to Washington DC on Friday, June 29 left millions in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic without power for days. A post in Forbes highlights our increasing reliability on the power grid, and the need for diversification of risk with cloud services to avoid downtime.

Business continuity plans are designed to help a firm respond to any type of disaster, from a hard drive failure to a hurricane.  They incorporate not only technology backup plans, but also illustrate when the plan should be put into action and to what extent. They identify key players, and what to do if those essential personnel aren’t available.

The ABA Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness had BDA Global, LLC prepare a planning guide for law firms to use to create a business continuity plan. Freely available, this  guide includes step by step explanations of what should be in the plan, how to create a plan and includes a sample plan in the appendix. In the foreword former ABA President Steve Zack notes:

Disaster planning is especially important for lawyers. Not only is it necessary to protect, preserve, and in extreme cases rebuild one’s practice or firm, lawyers also have special obligations to their clients. Lawyers must represent the client competently and diligently, safeguard client’s property, and maintain client confidentiality and communications. These obligations are neither excused nor waived following a disaster.

The guide is an excellent resource, as well as the other resources at www.americanbar.org/disaster, in helping law firms plan for the inevitable.

Some Technology Backup Best Practices

  • Maintain geo-redundant backups
  • Regularly do test restores and create written instructions for restoring
  • Keep all software license numbers and installation discs
  • Create images for computers and file servers
  • Keep a local copy of cloud data
  • Consider how data created on mobile devices is backed up
  • Have a current and accurate network diagram

More information regarding computer backups, risk management and disaster recovery are available from the ABA Disaster Planning website on the Resources for Lawyers and Law Firms page.

Ethics and Technology: The Rules are Changing (podcast)

Listen to this month’s Digital Edge podcast on ethics and technology:

This month Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Catherine Sanders Reach, Director of Law Practice Management & Technology for the Chicago Bar Association. The topic is Ethics and Technology: The Rules are Changing. This month’s discussion covers a wide range of topics including the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission’s recommendations as well as state opinions about lawyers offering coupon deals and other electronic marketing efforts, cloud computing, SaaS and outsourcing.

Is Your Website An Advertisement?

A recent ethics opinion from the ISBA Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion (Opinion No. 12-04
January 2012
), primarily regarding the use of “Promotional Material” in lieu of the proper “Advertising Materials”, noted that a law firm website is not a direct solicitation, thus did not need apply the “Advertising Material” label on the site:

While firm brochures (and their modern counterpart, the internet website) are clearly regulated communications under the RPC, and thus subject to prohibitions on false or misleading statements, it should be noted that the labeling requirements of Rule 7.3(c), only apply to communications employed in the direct written, recorded or electronic solicitation of prospective clients known to be in need of legal services. Communications sent in response to requests from potential clients and general announcements do not require the special labeling. RPC 7.3, Comment [7]. Further, nothing in this opinion is intended to imply that firm brochures (or websites) generally are required to be labeled as “Advertising Material.” (For a discussion of issues relating to firm websites, see ABA Formal Opinion 10-457.)

Good to know! However, if you are licensed in other states, or have any questions regarding a specific situation, don’t hesitate to ask the IL ARDC.