By Alan Kilpatrick
Are you curious about the impact of new technology on the practice of law in Saskatchewan? Have tablets, the cloud, and tech gadgets changed how you practice law?
Last month, lawyers across Canada reacted with alarm to a sudden announcement from the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC). Some asked whether the LSBC had just killed cloud computing for BC lawyers. Slaw, a popular legal blog, reported that Jan Linday, LSBC president, had seemingly announced that BC lawyers were banned from using cloud computing services located outside BC. Days of alarm and confusion followed. Jack Newton, a speaker on legal and technology issues, decried the prohibition and warned that it would turn BC into a “pre-cloud technological backwater.” The LSBC attempted to put an end to the confusion later that week by clarifying their position on the cloud. They explained that BC lawyers were not banned from using cloud services as long as they exercised appropriate due diligence.
What exactly is the cloud? PC Magazine explains, “In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive.” In the past, Mashable explains, “companies used to have to buy their own hardware equipment, the value of which depreciated over time. But now with the cloud, companies only have to pay for what they use. This model makes it easy to quickly scale use up or down.” Common cloud services include Google Drive, and Dropbox. Servers for these cloud services are often physically located outside Canada.
Many Canadian lawyers have raised valid concerns about security in the cloud and asked whether it is appropriate to store confidential and client information in the cloud. What do you think? Is the practice of law in Saskatchewan heading towards the cloud?
Please stop by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library if you have any questions. We recently added a new book, Practice Law in the Cloud by David Whelan, to the library collection. It discusses the cloud and addresses the common concerns lawyers have raised.
Fee, Jess, “The Beginners’ Guide to the Cloud” (2013) Mashable: Online.
Griffith, Eric, “What is Cloud Computing?” (2013) PC Magazine: Online.
Newton, Jack, “Did the LSBC Just Kill Cloud Computing for Lawyers in BC?” (2014) Slaw: Online.
Newton, Jack, “LSBC Clears Up Cloud of Confusion” (2014) Slaw: Online.