For those interested in the intersection of legal technology and legal ethics, we’re excited to share our latest article authored by Jeff Cox that was recently published in Law Technology Today, an online publication of the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center. Jeff’s article, Why Every State Should Require Technology CLEs, discusses the transformative impact technology is having on the legal profession and the need for lawyers to maintain basic technology competency to provide adequate legal representation. The article also speaks to the importance of maintaining technology competence for delivering better legal services and thriving in the legal market, and notes that attaining basic competence is well within reach for most lawyers.
Here below is an excerpt from the introduction of Jeff’s article:
Two states now require a mandatory technology hour for continuing legal education credit, on top of ethics, substance abuse, and other annually or biannually required topics. The Southeast has led the charge in imposing this new requirement, with Florida requiring three technology credit hours every three years, and North Carolina following suit with a one-hour annual requirement. The technology CLE requirement will likely vary state by state as others adopt it, but it largely requires education in IT, cybersecurity, and various technology devices, platforms, tools, and methodologies applicable to practicing law.
With technology rapidly changing the legal landscape, no modern lawyer can afford to ignore it. As such, the technology CLE requirement is not gratuitous, but absolutely essential. Every U.S. state should require licensed attorneys to complete at least one hour of technology training per year in order to promote increased technological competence among lawyers. This should also not be a matter of checking a compliance box, but rather, should go beyond minimum competency to encourage proficiency.
The good news is that becoming conversant in technology is far easier than most lawyers think. For some attorneys, attaining basic technology competence can be as simple as using electronic calendaring to better manage their caseload and client communications, leveraging Outlook folders and safety features, or incorporating new legal technology platforms to automate basic processes like accessing legal data.
In this article, we’ll break down three overarching reasons as to why it is critical for all state bars to require technology CLEs to encourage an elevated level of competency among their members and improve the quality of legal services for consumers in their respective states.
You can read the full article here on Law Technology Today.