The ethics of cloud and mobile computing for lawyers

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  • Legal Technology: Cloud and Mobile Computing for Lawyers

    Presented by: Nicole Black

    Author | Cloud Computing for LawyersCo-author | Social Media for Lawyers--The Next Frontier

    Legal Technology Evangelist | web-based law practice management

  • The Internet? Bah! by Clifford Stoll,1995

  • E-Commerce? Bah!

  • E-books?Bah!

  • E-readers?Bah!

  • E-business? Bah!

  • How did we get here?

  • June 2006--Google launches first non-email cloud product

    July 2006--Twitter launched

    August 2006--Amazon EC2 cloud product released in private beta

    September 2006--Facebook opened to the public

    April 2015 --Apple Watch released

    April 2010--iPad released in US

    July 2008--Apple launches the App Store

    June 2007--iPhone released in US

  • Lawyers cannot afford to be left out of the loop

  • 3 major technology trends: Social Media

    Mobile Computing Cloud Computing

  • Why should you care about cloud computing?

  • Cloud computing

    Software as a service (SaaS)

    What is cloud computing?

  • Do you use Lexis or Westlaw?

  • Do you or your clients use gmail?

  • Do you use Wikipedia?

  • Cloud Convenience Affordability Flexibility Mobility Back up

    SaaS Bill on the go Instant access Client access Communicate securely


  • By the end of 2012, 20% of businesses owned no IT assets and conducted business solely

    in the Cloud

    In 2013, mobile phones overtook PCs as the most

    common Web access device worldwide

    By the end of 2014 over 3 billion of the worlds adult

    population was able to transact electronically via mobile or

    Internet technology

    Source: Gartners Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2010 and Beyond: A New Balance

    Cloud and Mobile Computing: Not a Trend

  • Are lawyers using cloud computing?

  • 15% of firms with 500 or more lawyers have used cloud


    31% of solo attorneys used cloud computing

    34% of law firms with 50 or more lawyers use cloud computing

    *ABA 2013 Tech Report,2013 ILTA/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey,

  • 83% use the cloud for the simplified support and maintenance

    44% use the cloud because it facilitates less hardware in-house

    74% use the cloud for its convenience

    63% use the cloud for 24/7 access

    56% use the cloud because of its affordability

    *American Lawyers 2012 Tech Survey and 2013 ABA Legal Tech Survey

  • Why should you care about mobile computing?

  • Mobile devices are constrained by their memory, processing power, and battery life. But combined with cloud computing, data processing and storage can happen outside of mobile devices.

    *IEEE Computer Society 2014 Tech Trends Report

  • There are more mobile phones on the planet than there

    are TVs

    The growth of the iPhone was 10 times

    faster than the growth of America Online

    There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1

    billion of them own a cell phone, but

    only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush

    *Source: The Hub Spot Blog/Mobile Marketing Association Surveys

  • But are lawyers using

    mobile technology?

  • Lawyers smartphone use has increased from 89% in 2011 to 91% in 2014

    58% of firms purchase tablets for their attorneys

    89% of law firms report that their lawyers use tablets on a daily basis

    Sources: International Legal Technology Association and Inside Legals 2014 Annual Law Firm Technology Purchasing Survey and ABAs 2011,

    2014 Legal Technology Survey

  • The iPad is used by 84% of those lawyers who use a tablet device for work-related tasks

    48% of respondents used a tablet to conduct work while outside of their primary workplace, up from 33% in 2012

    In firms of more than 500 attorneys, lawyers using iPads for work-related reasons outside of work

    increased to 26%

    Source: ABAs 2012, 2014 Legal Technology Survey

  • Sometimes cloud computing ethics will fee like a maze

  • Sometimes, the journey will be frustrating

  • A lot of people will tell you what you cant do

  • Take it step by step

  • Ethical issues to consider:

    A. Attorney client confidentiality

    B. Compare/contrast to traditional outsourcing relationships

    C. Meeting obligations of reasonable security


    Whether an attorney can use an online system to store confidential client data and, if so, what steps must be

    taken to ensure the data are secure? New York State Bar Associations Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 842

    (September 2010)

  • * Source:

  • Security issues to consider:

    1. Encryption2. Geo-redundancy3. Data back ups4. Extraction of data5. Transborder data flow6. Financial security

    For full list of questions see:

  • Explore and learn

  • Dont get left behind

  • Thanks for listening!

    Nicole BlackLegal Technology Evangelist | web-based law practice management on Twitter

    Author and co-author of: