Lisa Tatum 2013-10-24 11:16:12
A BRAVE NEW TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame. —Marshall McLuhan IS YOUR FIRM ON TWITTER? DO YOU USE FACEBOOK IN RESEARCHING A CASE? According to surveys, an increasing number of attorneys would answer yes to both questions. As John Browning reports in these pages, nearly three-fourths of U.S. law firms now use at least one social media platform for marketing purposes, and four in 10 attorneys say they use sites such as Facebook as part of their case investigation. Like it or not, new forms of technology are shaping the way we practice law every day. Depending on your perspective, this can be exhilarating or frustrating news. Still, few would argue that technological changes present challenges for the modern Texas practitioner. As president of the State Bar, I have been reaching out to members to expand a conversation about how the bar can better serve needs throughout our membership. In September, I asked bar sections and committees to provide me with feedback on the top priorities concerning Texas lawyers, and many of you responded. Among the top responses was a request for the bar to address the practical, technical, and ethical challenges that new forms of technology inevitably bring. I am pleased to report that the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Young Lawyers Association are attuned to these concerns. This month’s Texas Bar Journal is packed with helpful information about how to adapt your practice to new technology. The issue also introduces the new TYLA Pocket Guide: Social Media 101, which offers detailed guidelines for a variety of social media actions. The pocket guide—the first project from 2013-2014 TYLA President Kristy Blanchard—provides guidance on what constitutes advertising on social media and how to advertise in accordance with applicable rules. TexasBarCLE also continues to offer vital information in this area. One example is the recent webcast Preserving Attorney-Client Privilege: Web Apps to the Rescue, which features an expert panel discussing the communication tools and document- and case-management programs that attorneys can use to preserve information clients entrust to them. Finally, each year the State Bar Computer and Technology Section offers an “Adaptable Lawyer” track during Annual Meeting to help you get up to speed on the latest developments shaping the 21st-century legal marketplace. I hope you will take time to read these stories and explore these programs—and that they will empower our work as professionals. The better we are, the better we can serve our clients and the community at large. The conversation continues. Keep the feedback coming. The work also continues.
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