Last week, Florida became the first state to require lawyers to take continuing education courses in technology.
Currently, lawyers licensed in Florida must take 30 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every three years, 5 of which must be in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, mental illness awareness, or bias elimination. As of January 1, 2017, Florida lawyers must take an additional 3 hours of CLE in technology-related areas, raising the total CLE hours required during each three-year period to 33. Along with learning how to use various forms of technology in their practices, lawyers will also need to become more knowledgeable about cybersecurity and safeguarding confidential information.
I think is great news for Florida residents seeking legal services. Technology – when used efficiently – can reduce costs, improve accuracy, and allow for more timely communication with clients, opposing counsel, and the courts. Perhaps soon we’ll start seeing typewriters, dictation machines, and mountains of paper disappearing from some lawyers offices. : )