Tips on what solo and small firms can use to get accurate data about their websites.
Editor’s note: This post is part of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program’s Stories of Recovery series. TLAP offers confidential assistance for lawyers, law students, and judges with substance abuse or mental health issues. Call TLAP at 1-800-343-8527 (TLAP) and find more information at tlaphelps.org.
My first experience with alcohol at age 13 should have been as good a deterrent as any. A friend and I consumed three quarters of a bottle of 40-proof liquor in about an hour. It wasn’t long before we were both sick. I didn’t drink for years after that. Continue Reading
Editor’s note: In an effort to encourage voter participation and educate members on the platforms of the 2018 State Bar of Texas president-elect candidates, the State Bar will publish periodic messages submitted by the candidates addressing topics of their choosing. The first messages are available at the links below. Opinions expressed by the candidates do not necessarily reflect the views of the State Bar of Texas.
Click here to read Lisa Blue’s message.
Click here to read Randy Sorrels’ message.
When people think of high-profile hacks, their minds don’t usually drift to the legal world. However, recent security breaches at several large firms, including Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, have highlighted the vulnerabilities law firms face. In fact, after one such event, former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said the incident “should serve as a wake-up call for law firms around the world: you are and will be targets of cyber hacking, because you have information valuable to would-be criminals.”
With the speed at which technology is advancing, most firms don’t have the time, money, or personnel bandwidth necessary to keep up, leaving their internal systems out-of-date and vulnerable to attack. But does this mean all lawyers need to immediately become cybersecurity experts in order to protect the valuable information in their office? Not at all.
Trust Sensitive Information to the Professionals
Protecting sensitive data is actually simple for attorneys to do, and in most cases, requires nothing more than getting that information out of their office and into the hands of a trusted vendor that has security expertise.
According to Jason Anders, CEO of Amazon Web Services, “What’s happened over the last three to four years is that most companies have figured out that they can have a much stronger security posture in AWS and the cloud than they can on-premises, because we’re able to employ a lot more people to focus on security.” He added that companies that focus on providing cloud-based services are also able to do so with greater agility and at a lower cost than most businesses can manage in-house.
Limit Your Liability
Moving sensitive data out of your office not only provides you with greater security and protection, but also frees you of the responsibility to protect that information. Think about it—hackers can’t steal something from your firm if it’s not there to steal in the first place. If you keep information like client credit card numbers stored on your computer, you’re responsible for protecting that data, and you’re liable if something happens to it. But if you trust this information to a secure partner, the liability goes with it.
So why burden yourself with the liability and stress of maintaining a secure system? Let someone who is an expert in cybersecurity protect your firm’s sensitive information, and rest secure knowing your firm won’t become the next cautionary tale.
LawPay was developed specifically to provide a sophisticated payment solution for legal professionals. The LawPay platform contractually protects client funds by restricting the ability of any third-party from debiting monies from a Trust or IOLTA account. LawPay is an approved Member Benefit of 47 state bar associations, trusted by more than 50,000 lawyers, and is the only payment solution offered through the ABA Advantage program. Click here to learn more.
The Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Women’s Foundation, and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association have created DBA WE LEAD: Women Empowered to Lead in the Legal Profession.
The one-year program, which is designed to empower women as leaders in the profession and address challenges they face in practice, is an initiative of DBA President Michael K. Hurst.
Isidore Starr, long considered the “father of law-related education” died February 10, 2018. He was 106.
Starr was one of the founders and supporters of the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education program. Since the 1970s, he and his wife, Kay, have conducted institutes on the founding documents across Texas. Starr has authored many articles and books about LRE.
In 1983, the American Bar Association established the Isidore Starr Award for Excellence in Law-Related Education to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of law-related education.
In an October 8, 2013, interview with the World Justice Project, Starr talked about the importance of educating people about the law.
“We are completely surrounded by the law, whether we want to be or not. It’s the backbone of our society and is with us from the time we’re born—birth certificates—to the time we die—trusts and estates—and everything in between. The clothes we wear, including the ways that fabrics are manufactured and sold, and the food we eat, for example FDA regulations, all involve the law. The law is here, there, and everywhere. The law is not the enemy; it is a way of life.”
For more information about the State Bar of Texas Law-Related Education Department and its many programs, go to texaslre.org.
The State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division elected Megan Goor as its president-elect.
Goor, who is a certified paralegal in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, is a senior paralegal and office manager at the Brender Law Firm in Fort Worth. She works on cases involving personal injury, product liability, insurance bad faith, and employment discrimination.
The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is seeking applications for two $2,500 scholarships that will go to women and/or minority law students.
The scholarships facilitate and encourage women and minorities to enter the practice of intellectual property law in Texas and to become active members of the State Bar IP Section by assisting these students with their financial needs.
Any woman or member of a recognized minority group, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who intends to practice IP law in the State of Texas, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school in Texas at the time the application is submitted. Individuals who have been accepted to law school but have not yet started classes at the time the application is submitted are ineligible.
The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted January 26 to approve Lisa Blue of Dallas and Randy Sorrels of Houston as candidates for president-elect in the 2018 election. There are currently no additional president-elect candidates, although members have until March 1 to run as a petition candidate by submitting a petition signed by at least 5 percent of the State Bar membership.
Voting will take place April 2 to May 1 by paper and online ballot. The winner will serve as president-elect from June 2018 to June 2019 and as president from June 2019 to June 2020. Additional information on the election, including a Q&A with the candidates, will appear in the April issue of the Texas Bar Journal.
The board also updated procedures for president-elect and district director races. Candidates’ petition signatures will now have a 180-day expiration date—a provision that matches the law governing petitions in other state elections. The board also decided to move its approval of board-nominated candidates from January to September in future elections, which means the board will vote on the 2019 president-elect candidates in September 2018. Continue Reading
A new comprehensive training video introduced by Attorney General Ken Paxton aims to educate Texans about and combat against human trafficking. Be the One in the Fight Against Human Trafficking was put together by the Office of the Texas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Section and debuted to the public at the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center in January.