Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Technology Programming

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By Sarah Rider
CPD Program Coordinator, Law Society of Saskatchewan

A quick scan of the Law Society CPD Past Activities webpage reveals the extent technology has influenced our programming in the past few years.

The use of new and innovative technologies in the practice of law has provided the opportunity for educating our members on how their time, money and resources may be better spent if they are properly informed of the technologies that exist to aid their daily operations and processes. To this end, we have utilized specialists in these matters to share their expertise with our members.  These sessions have always been well attended and received as our members recognize the necessity of embracing the changes to the profession that advancements in technology will always yield.

Some examples of these activities, which are available to purchase on-demand through the CPD Recorded Versions webpage, are offered below with a brief description:

Webinar – The Use of Technology in Evidence:

Technology is an integral part of our lives and the legal profession. It has become critical to understand what technology exists, how it can be used and the value it presents in the Courtroom.  Technology can be the evidence as well as the tool to present the evidence. This presentation discusses the impact of technology on evidence and how technology can be used to fulfill the role of advocate.

This webinar was presented by Loreley Berra, a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Ministry of Justice. She has experience in prosecuting a wide variety of criminal matters and is currently the dedicated Crown for the Saskatchewan Integrated Child Exploitation Unit (ICE) in Regina. Saskatchewan ICE deals primarily with criminal offences committed with the use of electronic devices.

Webinar – Creating and Managing a Digital Practice:

Lawyers are swamped in paper. We generate and receive reams of it. We chase it, try to keep it organized, are slaved to our desks so we can access it and when it is no longer needed we store it, sometimes at pricey, downtown, lease rates. If you are tired of this drain on your resources then this is your opportunity to learn how to “kick the habit”. Not only will you learn how to actually create a paperless practice but also best practices for managing it. Who should view this webinar? Anyone who is finally tired of the daily paper-hunt.

The webinar was presented by Jeff Scott, Q.C., Practice Advisor and Colin Clackson, Q.C., Committee Member with the Electronic Office Working Group for the Law Society of Saskatchewan.

Panel Discussion on Technology and the Changing Legal Landscape:

The focus of this CPD session was technology and the changing legal landscape. We were fortunate to have a panel of esteemed lawyers from across the country who addressed the inevitability of change and the impact that technology will have on the legal profession, and more broadly, on the legal system. Fred Headon is Assistant General Counsel, Labour and Employment for Air Canada. As Chair of the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Legal Futures Initiative, Fred discussed innovation in the practice of law and the role of technology in creating opportunities for the profession.

Karen Dyck is the Executive Director of the Manitoba Law Foundation, has been involved with various not-for-profit organizations, and is a member of the Futures Initiative Steering Committee. Karen discussed technology and the opportunities it can create from an access to justice perspective. We also heard from Dan Pinnington, President and CEO at LawPRO. Dan is a prolific writer,  speaker and blogger on legal malpractice, risk management, legal technology and law practice management issues. The aim of this session was to leave attendees with a better understanding of what they and their firm will need to do to adapt to the changing legal landscape.

Recorded Seminar – Technology Academy for Saskatchewan Lawyers and Legal Professionals 2018:

Barron K. Henley is one of the most popular CPD instructors in North America and an expert on technology solutions for lawyers. Barron presented to Saskatchewan members of the bar in 2012, 2016 and in May 2018. Barron’s classes are designed by lawyers for legal professionals making them some of the most relevant training you and your staff can receive in the legal technology area.

In his 2018 program Barron took us back to basics in hopes of allowing members and their staff to fully utilize the software they work with (and pay for!) every day, with sessions titled:
• Microsoft Word Power Tips
• Using Outlook To Get Email Under Control
• A Lawyer’s Guide to PDF Files

He then switched gears to discuss that ever-present concern when considering technology for lawyers – security. His session Cyber Security – Legal Tech Security Measures Every Lawyer Should Take, provided practical measures members and their staff can take to manage their high-risk digital environments. Barron completed this seminar with a session entitled, 8 Things Hurting Your Law Firm – And How to Eliminate Them.

The flip side to any advancement in legal technology is the greater risk for security breaches. With ever increasing effort and imagination, hackers and fraudsters continue to target lawyers and law firms. Daily, phishing emails, bad cheque scams and other sophisticated frauds are being used in attempts to breach law firm systems and steal trust funds. The Law Society has been, and remains, cognizant of these very real issues. We have worked hard, with various partners, to offer CPD programming focused on how to recognize these threats and how to react to them in order to minimize the disruption to your practice.

 

The most recent programming offered in this area, including a description of the session, is listed below:

Webinar – “Surf the Net and Lose Your Trust Funds” – Cybercrime and Law Firms:

As the face of Claims Prevention and practicePRO at LawPRO, Ian Hu speaks, writes and blogs about practice management, claims prevention and lawyering issues. We worked with Ian in 2016 to offer a webinar designed to educate our members on:

• phising scams, cyber criminals and malware;
• horror stories from real firms;
• the steps you need to take to secure your data and systems;
• proper use of passwords;
• technology use policies;
• responding to a cyber breach; and
• tech tips to help manage your practice.

Webinar – Common Cyber Dangers and How to Avoid Them:

In order to keep our content current, we followed up Ian’s session a year later with a presentation from Dan Pinnington, President and CEO of LawPRO. He has been teaching lawyers about  technology and malpractice dangers for almost 20 years. Dan provided an overview of the most common cyber dangers and showed how you and your staff can recognize and avoid cyber scams.

Free Webinar – Cybersecurity Webinar and Training Introduction:

In April we partnered with our information technology (IT) Support provider, MicroAge, and their cybersecurity training team, KnowBe4, to offer our members a short, free introduction webinar. This webinar introduced attendees to an intuitive, IT-focused approach to cybersecurity problems and how you can teach your entire company to spot the warning signs of a cyberattack, and how to train your users with safe, simulated attacks to avoid these threats before cybercriminals target you.

 

[Originally published in Benchers’ Digest, Summer 2018]

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