Disaster preparedness


Published on

Is your legal practice prepared for a disaster?

In this webinar, learn how utilizing cloud computing
can prepare your practice for unexpected disasters 
and strategies for disaster mitigation and recovery. 
Topics Covered in this Webinar: 
 • What is a disaster?
 • What is disaster preparation?
 • Why lawyers need a disaster recovery plan
 • How to build your own disaster recovery plan

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • During a natural disaster, along with the disruption, damage, and inconvenience, law firms face special challenges.
  • On a good day, lawyers have a raft of duties and obligations that come from ethical rules and fiduciary obligations. These include responsive communications with clients and opposing counsel, diligence to insure that no deadlines are missed, knowledge and use of relevant law and technology. Lastly, lawyers have an obligation to provide continuous access for client’s records for years after a matter closes.
  • During a natural disaster, along with everyone else, lawyers will be experiencing loss of power, dislocation, and facing the closure of local courts and services
  • Clients will need not only work done on their already pressing matters; they’ll need help with new insurance and real estate claims, custody and visitation issues, commercial contracts and employment issues that all arise in emergencies. They will turn to lawyer for help with these issues. How will you meet their needs?
  • The ethical duty to be aware of changes in technology and practice create a duty to have disaster preparation and mitigation plans.
    ABA MRPC 1.1 mentions that Competency includes keeping abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.
  • Using cloud computing services as a normal part of your practice, means that when disaster strikes, your practice can continue with minimal disruption. Le’s take a look at some services that can help your business everyday and keep you up and running.
  • [Grab logos for each service mentioned]
    Set your communications to cloud services so that you can route communications to you, no matter where you are. Most plans also eliminate long distance charges, so that even if you have to relocate, you can still be local.
    VOIP services like SKYPE or Vonnage [still in service?] allow you to communicate with clients over the internet.
    Call Forwarding services, like Google Voice, networks the phone numbers you already use. Clients can call a single number and reach any phone to which you have access. You can even control the time and manner of the routing. In court? Set your phone to ‘do not disturb.’ Create personalized voice mail greetings for individual clients. You can even have your voicemails sent to you as emails or texts.
    Email is already a tool you use, but do you know how to access it from another computer? Do you know where your email are stored and what preparations they’ve taken for natural disasters. Hosting your own email servers or relying on a inadequate suppliers can leave your vulnerable. Be sure to check that your provider offers geographically-distinct, redundant servers that can keep you online, even if one location fails.
    After Hurricane Katrina and Sandy, [X number] of people reached out over social media for information and communication. Do you have social media accounts that you can use to distribute updates on courthouse closures, information on emergency services and contact information,? Your clients will be looking for this information on social media. If you haven’t connected to them prior to a disaster, you’ve cut off an avenue of service and left them open to bad information.
  • [Logos]
    You are backing up your data right? Is it to a portable hard drive? If you couldn’t access it, what would you do?
    Providers like Box, Dropbox, and GoogleDrive keeps backups of your data and you can access them anywhere.
    Of course, a backup is only as good as your last backup. Part of disaster preparedness should be frequently, regular backups before the weathermen start talking about ‘Snowmageddon.’
    On a good day, using a cloud-based practice management service gives you access to all your essential information, anywhere, from any device. This doesn’t change in a disaster. The additional benefit comes from being able to take your practice with you; let your employees work from home; and not risk traveling during a crises.
    In the event, you do have to relocate due to loss or power. Your practice is as close as the nearest coffee shop with the lights still on.
  • Disaster preparedness

    1. 1. Disaster Preparedness: Cloud Computing & Legal Practice Joshua Lenon, Esq. Director of Communications Clio
    2. 2. Your law firm has a bad day
    3. 3. 3
    4. 4. 4
    5. 5. Lawyers’ Duties on a Good Day • Communication – Respond to or acknowledge client communications • Diligence – On behalf of your client • Competence – Awareness of changes in the law & practice – Benefits and of relevant technology • Continuity – Records retention 5
    6. 6. During natural disasters, lawyers’ professional and ethical obligations are NOT suspended. 6
    7. 7. Natural Disasters • Loss of power • Dislocation of parties • Closure of courts and services 7
    8. 8. Clients have increased needs for speedy and accurate representation during crises 8
    9. 9. Lawyers have an ethical duty to have disaster preparation and mitigation plans. 9
    10. 10. Disaster Preparations • Plan for disasters and interruptions • Use available technology prior to disruptions • Communicate these preparations with clients 10
    11. 11. Cloud computing overcomes natural disaster issues 11
    12. 12. Cloud Computing • Communications – VOIP and Call Forwarding, Email, Social Media • Backup – Offsite, online storage • Organization – Practice management services – Online document generation – Banking 12
    13. 13. Communications • • • • Voice over IP (VOIP) Call Forwarding Email Social Media 13
    14. 14. Backup • Online backup provides offsite redundancy 14
    15. 15. Organization • Practice management services – Contact information – Notes – Documents – Billing 15
    16. 16. Organization • Online Document Generation 16
    17. 17. Organization • Banking 17
    18. 18. Disaster Preparedness • Lawyers have a duty to prepare for a disaster • Cloud services not only enhance practice but also mitigate disruptions • Clients have increased needs during crises • Being up and running quickly means your can be safe and still take advantage of opportunities. 18