The Law Office Management Standards Committee is seeking input from the membership with regard to the following Standard (and its introduction below):
- New LOMC Standard: Technological Competence
Please submit comments and suggestions pertaining to this proposed Standard to [email protected] by March 15th, 2024.
The use of technology in the practice of law is now pervasive, including but not limited to artificial intelligence. Lawyers need to be able to understand and develop the ability to use technology relevant to the nature of their practice. This was reflected in the NSBS Code of Professional Conduct under 3.1-2 and the following relevant commentary, 4A and 4B:
4A. To maintain the required level of competence, a lawyer should develop an understanding of, and ability to use, technology relevant to the nature and area of the lawyer’s practice and responsibilities. A lawyer should understand the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, recognizing the lawyer’s duty to protect confidential information set out in section 3.3.
4B. The required level of technological competence will depend upon whether the use or understanding of technology is necessary to the nature and area of the lawyer’s practice and responsibilities and whether the relevant technology is reasonably available to the lawyer. In determining whether technology is reasonably available, consideration should be given to factors including:
- The lawyer’s or law firm’s practice areas;
- The geographic locations of the lawyer’s or firm’s practice; and
- The requirements of clients.
While there are standards that touch on some aspects of technology (i.e. Cloud Computing) the Committee proposes a new, broader standard which would essentially codify commentary 4A and 4B of the Code of Professional Conduct. The newly proposed standard does not aim to create an obligation to use technology (or specific technologies) where such use is not necessary or required, but rather reminds members of their obligation to develop an understanding and an ability to use whatever technological tools are relevant to their practice and responsibilities. The Committee has assembled an extensive list of resources to assist members. While the list is exhaustive, it is offered simply as a guide and not as a list of components that every member is expected to master.
The proposed new standard has been the subject of extensive consultation with each Equity Committee and thorough review by the staff of the Equity & Access office.