The November 2014 issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal featured a theme of “Navigating the Changing Legal Profession.” There are a number of noteworthy articles contained in this issue and it is our pleasure to share them with you. Download PDF of the entire issue.
Adapting to Change in Legal Education
By Valerie K. Couch, Joseph Harroz Jr. and Janet K. Levit
The deans of all three law schools in Oklahoma pen an article about their challenges and plans. They begin:
“This is an exciting time to be a law school dean. The push and pull of tradition and innovation makes every day a challenge as we try to meet our responsibilities to our students and our profession. We are working in a world undergoing exponential change every few years due to technology and globalization. And, in this rapidly changing context, we are striving to answer an important practical question: What is the best way to prepare our students for their future employment as a lawyer?”
Updating the Rules to Reflect Changes in Technology
By Gina Hendryx
OBA General Counsel Gina Hendryx discusses changes and proposed changes to the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Legal Profession of the 21st Century: Can Oklahoma Lawyers Meet the Challenges?
By Deirdre O. Dexter
Tulsa lawyer and OBA Board of Governors member Deirdre O. Dexter gives us her take on change in the legal profession. She begins:
“In the world of law, it certainly can’t be disputed that ‘the times they are a-changin’. Dramatic changes are occurring rapidly in the way legal services are provided. Even prior to the economic downturn in 2008, lawyers and law firms were beginning to experience change as corporate clients demanded detailed budgets and information regarding legal services performed and results achieved. The full impact of the downturn is now behind us, but the “more services for less cost” demand remains, and is now an expectation of all clients — whether that client is an individual seeking a divorce, or is a corporation seeking to enforce a multi-million dollar contract.”
Practicing Law at the Speed of Light
By Jim Calloway
Someone suggested the title of this article for me. There was no other suggestion, just a title. But I thought that title really suggested both the new challenges to our profession and the reason why so many lawyers feel so stressed out today. So I began with one big difference today- email.
Pre-Internet: A lawyer would proofread a letter, sign it, have it stamped and placed in an envelope and mailed. Unless something urgent required a phone call, the lawyer could expect a reply letter in four to seven days.
Today: A lawyer gets to the office a little early, checks his or her email and can have three or four testy email exchanges with other early-bird lawyers before the rest of the staff even shows up and the office officially opens.
Cybersecurity: It’s a Moving Target
By Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek
Noted legal technologists (and my good friends) Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek give us some straight talk on cybersecurity. “If you feel like it’s impossible to keep up with cybersecurity, fear not. You belong to a very large club. This field changes, not year by year, not month by month, but day by day. The best advice you can get is to attend at least one information security CLE each year and to keep reading articles like this one! “
Alternative Fees and Technology
By Mark A. Robertson
Oklahoma City lawyer Mark A. Robertson, who co-authored two American Bar Association books with me on alternative billing practices and alternative fees for lawyers and this year published Alternative Fees for Business Lawyers and Their Clients, shares his thoughts on alternative fees and how technology has such a significant impact in this area.
The Impact of Social Media on the Practice of Law
By Alison A. Cave and Renee DeMoss
Alison A. Cave, claims counsel for Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company, and OBA President Renée DeMoss give us some great information on a timely topic. “Social media continues to take the world by storm as millions of people communicate and network on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and individual blogs every day. Its ubiquitous reach now extends to the practice of law, and has led to an explosion of state and federal court opinions involving some aspect of social media.”
The Federalization of the Oklahoma Law License
By Kimber J. Palmer
Kimber J. Palmer is an instructor of legal studies courses in the A.R. Sanchez Jr. School of Business at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. We all understand that our licenses to practice law are granted by the states. Could the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) limit a state’s ability to decide who does or does not get to be one of its lawyers? This is certainly a provocative topic.
Losing My Balance
By R. Steven Haught
Oklahoma City lawyer R. Steven Haught admits that when he first heard the phrase “work/life balance,” it conjured up something foreign and subversive. But life experiences and the terminal illness of a close friend changed his attitude.