The impact of mobile technology is apparent in all areas of our society and culture. From how we interact with each other, both socially and professionally, to how we manage our time and daily activities, it is the new normal.
This shift towards mobility is especially prevalent in the technology changes happening in the legal market. As the trends move towards mobility, Attorneys’ are now practicing wherever and whenever they choose. With clients’ new communication demands, it is now a reasonable expectation that attorney’s respond to communications, not just phones calls, but also e-mails within hours. New mobile technologies have become a necessity to manage and maintain practices while staying on the move.
Lawyers use their mobile devices in a variety of ways. From collaborating with co-counsel and/or colleagues on cases or in court by looking up citations and gathering information, while working on a deposition or reviewing a motion on their notebook, to responding to emails and clients in a timely fashion, even recording billable time.
According to the American Bar Association’s 2010 Legal Technology Survey Report, 76% of responding lawyers currently use smart phones. The ABA illustrated their recognition of the new trends by revising the ABA Model Rules.
Most notably, the ABA modified the comments to rule 1.1 requiring lawyers “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…” in order to proficiently serve their clients.
This change obligates attorneys ethically to explore and adapt new and relevant technologies to assist their clients more effectively and efficiently.
With mobile computing becoming the norm in today’s law practice, their professional ethics committees are beginning to require lawyers keep up to date with new technologies. However, the committees also expect lawyers choosing to utilize mobile devices and other data storage media in their law practices take reasonable steps to protect and maintain client confidentiality by identifying potential threats and implementing polices and technologies to alleviate these threats.
As new technologies continue to emerge, the most successful firms will be those that increase efficiency in the service of their clients by identifying and implementing relevant technologies the earliest and fastest.
With the upcoming additions of the new JMO and Mobility for Juris, LexisNexis is responding to these evolving technical needs by incorporating this changing trend in our software packages. For more information on our mobile product offerings, please visit www.lexisnexis.com.