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Did you know there is more to practicelaw than just forms?  practicelaw is designed to be a repository of resources intended to help your practice.  Similarly, the MSBA’s practiceblawg is a blog for the Association to share with you how the MSBA can help you improve your efficiency and grow your practice.  The MSBA offers members a number of products and services and is always looking for ways to better serve its members and provide greater value.

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From across the border: 10 legal tech innovations and what they mean

by Joe Kaczrowski | Apr 30, 2015

The Wisconsin State Bar recently published an article summarizing ten legal technology innovations and what each means to your practice. Most lawyers are aware of the change to the ABA Model Rules regarding competence and technology, which was adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court earlier this year, and the buzzwords will likely be no surprise either (social media, the cloud, mobile, practice management, data security). The Wisconsin article offers a short summary of ten key developments and how they affect law practice today.

Without further ado, here's the list. Be sure to click over to the article to see the analysis of each.

  1. Competence in Technology Is No Longer Optional
  2. Lawyers’ Use of Social Media Is No Longer a Novelty
  3. The Cloud Has Come Down to Earth
  4. Mobile Has Become the Driving Force in Technology Development
  5. Practice Management Has Gone Mainstream
  6. Innovation and Disruption Have Become the Norm
  7. The Justice Gap Has Become a Key Driver of Innovation
  8. In Legal Research, Small Is the New Big
  9. Data Security and Encryption Have Become Essential
  10. Lawyers Have Realized that Computer Analytics Are Allies, Not Enemies

The MSBA offers many tools and resources that can help you meet these new challenges. For example, access to Fastcase (legal research tool) is included in your membership at no additional cost. Jump down a few posts on practiceblawg for some social media pointers. The new mndocs is a cloud-based system, letting you work where you want, when you want; your data can be stored in the cloud as well, letting you access your work files from any device anywhere. Tips for data security and encryption from this year's ABA TECHSHOW were discussed on the Small Firm Soapbox. The MSBA also is working to develop relationships with vendors to give members access to products and services, like practice management software, at a reduced cost.

Forty-five percent of law firms have been infected with a virus, spyware, or malware. The average cost for each stolen record is $145. While four out of five firms view cyber security and privacy as a 'Top 10' risk, less than 20% of firms have an intrusion prevention process in place.

Looking for a place to start? Here are eight tips from Abacus Data Systems to improve your security.

  1. Provide security for internet connections
  2. Install and activate software firewalls on business systems
  3. Patch all operating systems and applications
  4. Make backup copies of important business data and information
  5. Control physical access to business computers and network components
  6. Secure wireless access points and networks
  7. Train employees in basic security principles
  8. Limit access to data and information by employees, and limit the authority to install software

Kaspersky Labs publishes an infographic containing 'live' stats about cybersecurity, including cyberattacks today and web sites hacked year-to-date, as well as other interesting figures, like emails sent year-to-date and tweets sent today.

Kaspersky infographic

"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." State bar associations like Wisconsin and your MSBA are working diligently to develop programs and content to help you meet your professional responsibility obligations relating to technology and changes in the practice of law.