Have you Snubbed or Embraced Ned Ludd?

Are you a luddite? Have you embraced or snubbed Ned Ludd?

A recent post Lawyers Finally Forced to Embrace Technology (& Snub Ned Ludd) on the Law Practice Management Advisor blog coupled with recent changes to Comment 8 of the Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 on Competence regarding technology which states (bold text is new)”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,”got me thinking a great deal about the intersection of technology and law; and thus what actions might be necessary with respect to the new Competence rule comment as it relates to a few current trends in technology. How one responds to these trends may  indeed determine if you are a luddite, and thus in danger of running afoul of the competence rule.

Trend 1 – App use is outpacing mobile Web and PC use and this trend is not expected to abate; rather it will continue to accelerate. A recent Nielsen report found that “89 percent of our time browsing the Internet on our mobile phones (and 81 percent of our time on tablets) takes place in apps.”

Response to trend 1 – Get on board or at very minimum investigate the benefits and risks associated with apps. I expect you will find them a worthy technology to embrace.

Trend 2 – Delivering an excellent digital experience across all platforms is critical to business success, and in light of trend 1, the experience must also be accessible via an app since that is the environment in which most of your customers likely reside.

Response to trend 2 – Familiarize yourself with the benefits and risks of the multitude of technology platforms available and make sure your business’ website is available and functions well on all of them! Undoubtedly your existing and potential clients are no all using the same Web platform and you risk missing them if your business is not scattered across most of the available electronic platforms.

Trend 3 – The disconnect of traditional IT versus consumerization of technology will continue to grow at breakneck speed leading to a greater need for IT to catch up and work to create security measures around employees use of their own mobile devices.

Response to trend 3 – Investigate the benefits and risks associated with security or lack thereof for mobile devices, and then take steps to increase the security of your own mobile devices. At minimum don’t be among the estimated 44% who don’t have a pass code for accessing their mobile devices.  Take it a step further – if your IT department hasn’t already done so encourage it to promote greater security of employees mobile devices – trust me they likely want to and probably have been trying to do so anyway, thus they will appreciate your suggestion.

But most importantly, answer the opening question of this post. If the answer is yes, then do whatever it takes to turn that answer into a resounding no, and snub Ned Ludd sooner rather than later!

About Cheryl Niemeier

Cheryl Niemeier is Director of Knowledge & Research Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Ms. Niemeier received her Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1986 and her Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1981. Ms. Niemeier has held multiple professional leadership positions in local, regional and national library associations. She frequently speaks at professional association conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Ms. Niemeier has authored multiple articles and seminar publications.
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