The Law Practice Management Section (LPM) had an exceptionally productive and fulfilling year in 2012, as Section committees and delivery boards went above and beyond the call of duty with the resources and programs they created. Since January is the traditional time to review past accomplishments and to prepare for an exciting 2013, we offer a sampling of some of LPM’s 2012 accomplishments.
This is just a quick overview of what we accomplished this year. Our boards and committees continue to amaze me with their tireless effort and dedication to improve the practice of law.
LPM’s partnership with the Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) has also been a resounding success. The LTRC’s resources are among the best the ABA offers. Currently, the LTRC is preparing to publish the ABA Legal Technology Survey Report. For 20 years, this annual report has served as the source for current comprehensive data (comprised of more than 5,000 responses) on the use of technology by attorneys. The report includes data on who performs legal research and in what formats; how and why lawyers use social networking; why lawyers are or aren’t in “the cloud”; what current awareness tools are used (blogs, Twitter, etc.); how lawyers use myriad mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.); and much more.
Of special significance (as noted in Marian Rice’s Ethics column), in 2012 the ABA House of Delegates voted to amend the Comment to its Model Rule of Professional Conduct to make it clear that a lawyer’s skill set must include technology. The change was in a Comment following Model Rule 1.1 on competence. The comment adds:
To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.
LPM and the LTRC could not ask for a stronger endorsement. This change should not surprise Section members because we inundate them with technology information throughout the year. The change does, however, send a red flag to those not paying attention: Get up to speed or your law license is at risk.