Five self-assessment criteria for deciding if it’s time to move to the cloud
There is always a critical tipping point when it comes to technology—a point when you have to forget about that large investment your firm made several years ago and face the reality that it has outlived its usefulness. Since attorneys are now practicing wherever and whenever they choose, the traditional fax machine is an example of a diminishing asset worthy of retirement consideration: They are expensive, require energy, maintenance fees and constant support. Yet faxing hasn’t gone away…not by a long shot.
Corporations are serial litigators. That is a fact of life for major enterprises these days. Whether defending or initiating a lawsuit or responding to a government investigation, a corporation is likely to be involved in multiple legal matters within any given period of time.
A further fact of life for corporations is that multiple legal matters are likely to implicate many of the same documents and custodians. This is particularly true where a corporation has core products or technologies that are frequent subjects of intellectual property or trade disputes.
Legal IT Today editor Joanna Goodman attended KM Legal, Ark Group’s annual two-day knowledge management event
This is the fourteenth year of KM Legal and it is still going strong. Chaired by Simone Pearlman Head of Legal Knowledge, UK, EMEA & Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills, it attracted a strong UK and international contingent and included presentations and discussions from law firms, clients, consultants and vendors covering a wide range of topics.
Obtaining ISO 27001 certification provides your law firm’s clients with the reassurance you are dealing with their information securely. A law firms “product” is the information it provides to their client. You need to protect your product to protect your client. Most stores these days have detectors fitted at their entrances to sound an alarm in the event of theft. If stores put controls in place to mitigate the risk of their products being stolen, then law firms should do the same; ISO 27001 is like the detector at the entrance of a store, it is a way a law firm can protect their information, or their product.
In recent months, because of a number of professional endeavors, I’ve had the opportunity to engage with members of legal academia along with current law students and recent graduates. My overarching impression of these encounters is that law schools aren’t sufficiently preparing law students for 21st century law practice. This is especially so when it comes to technology. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the vast majority of law schools are educating their students in a technology vacuum.
Everyone knows the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." But few people know that little Goldilocks grew up to have a career in law firm IT management. Goldilocks worked her way up the ranks, consulting and working for law firms and then found herself as the newly minted Director of IT at the firm of Andersen & Grimm. She'd been there for a year when she uncovered a very similar problem to one she ran into as a little girl so many years ago in the forest - settling in on "just right."
Last Wednesday saw the closing awards ceremony for the Workshare Raspberry Pi volunteer project. For the past five weeks, Workshare has been working with Tower Hamlets Integrated Youth and Community Services to teach young people from the local community how to code using credit card sized computer Raspberry Pi. The course culminated in a competition whereby the top three applications won a paid summer internship with Workshare. All the young people who completed the course were also invited for at least a day's work experience.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has been the bane of the existence of law firm IT professionals for years now. Ever since the iPhone was introduced and then quickly gained in popularity amongst lawyers, there has been an internal struggle between law firms and IT when it comes to the support of BYOD. Lawyers want to use their choice of devices, while IT wants to keep law firm data securely locked up tight-and understandably so.
In his guest post "Big law, small law, new law, old law… it’s bigger than that" on Brian Inkster's The Time Blog, Ben Wightwick said, "Currently there are, broadly speaking, four types of CIOs: Chief Integration Officer; Chief Innovation Officer; Chief Infrastructure Officer and Chief Intelligence Officer. All CIOs will fall into one of these main camps." His comment really got me thinking. There is the old joke that CIO actually stands for "Career Is Over." But are there only four types of CIOs? I sat down with my extensive electronic Rolodex and started searching out other types of CIOs. In no particular order, this is what I found:
Well into the era of electronic discovery, few would argue against the use of technology to assist in document review. Predictive coding is the most recent attempt at taming the electronic data behemoth that presents itself as millions of pages for review. Clearly, one cannot apply the same methods that were established when a matter involved boxes of paper to massive volumes of electronic data. But does this new technology render keyword search obsolete? Is predictive coding inherently superior, or can they serve as complements?
It's a given that a law practice will not thrive, or even survive, if it doesn't set an impeccable standard for client confidentiality. In today's technology-driven world, however, the process of managing and securing that crucial, private information has never been more complicated. While having access to multiple modes of communication offers flexibility, the tradeoff is often the risk of lost information or unauthorized access.
How, then, can you guarantee that your clients' information remains easily manageable - and for your firm's eyes only?
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