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Some lawyers are “early adopters” of new technology, incorporating the latest gadgets into every aspect of their practice. Other lawyers use their smartphones to support their practice, but may rely on other staff to help guide them through the nuances of cloud computing or e-discovery. And still other lawyers prefer to practice in a totally analog environment, declaring that they have no use for the advancements of technology in their representations of clients.

For those lawyers in that third category, avoiding technology can create significant risk. Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 provides: “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.” Many states have adopted or are considering equivalent language.

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