Ahead of the Curve
The Professional Development Advisory Committee’s (PDAC) purpose in providing you this communication is to further its goal of periodically sharing topical information regarding the legal industry. Our hope is that one or more of the updates will provide a spark of insight to assist with your work on behalf of ALA as well as within your firm or legal department.
We continue to see more and more information about blockchain and its importance. This article provides basic use of blockchain and how its "triple entry approach and use of distributed ledgers, blockchain technology not only has the potential to redefine accounting and auditing, but it could also create greater confidence in all sorts of transactions and data exchanges." There is also a specific case study on how blockchain works.
Resource: Reina G. Wiatt, CMA, CPA, Strategic Finance Magazine
We are all facing the daily struggles of dealing with the security of our networks and the targeted threat of our businesses. This is a quick outline of the reasons you should consider moving into a cloud hosting environment and services you should look for in a provider. Article starts on page 16.
Resource: Christophe Reclat, Florida CPA Today
"It may be time to change your passwords again. Security experts have discovered what very well could be one of the largest data breach of all time, a collection of 772,904,991 unique emails and 21,222,975 unique passwords. Called “Collection #1,” the breach was initially reported by Troy Hunt and seemingly comes from many different sources, not a single corporate entity. And it’s an especially dangerous one as he says it creates 1.16 billion “unique combinations of email addresses and passwords”."
Note, that if any of your users use their work computer passwords in other environments, the type of hacking this article references could potentially put your firm at risk. Consult with your IT company or department to see if they advise your users to change their Active Directory passwords out of precaution.
Resource: Chris Morris, Fortune
"As U.S. support for the legalization of marijuana grows and more states approve marijuana's medical and recreational use, employers must understand the relevant legal developments and how they affect the workplace."
Resource: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM
With the right expertise and technology, the sky's the limit for small firms.
Resource: Kristin Tyler, Attorney at Work
"Take the first steps toward using project management to improve your practice."
Resource: Sam Glover, Attorney at Work
Law firms organized as pass through activities get final guidance on the 20% pass through deduction.
Resource: Naomi Jagoda, The Hill
"Why not make your number one New Year’s resolution the transformation of your law firm’s culture to ensure the highest possible level of technological competence and information security?"
Read more. (requires a free subscription)
Resource: Christopher Combs and Michael Lester, WindTalker, Law.com
As in years past, the legal market has seen a significant number of mergers and acquisitions in 2018. This past year, however, there was a bit of a twist, and possibly, the beginning of a new trend. Beyond notable law firm mergers involving Bryan Cave, Hunton & Williams, Clark Hill, and more, there were some mergers that raised a variety of eyebrows. Riverview was bought by EY. UnitedLex, which did deals with LeClairRyan and GE, was sold to CVC Capital Partners. Deloitte and EY formed partnerships with boutique immigration powerhouses Fragomen and Berry Appleman, respectively. All of this activity raises an obvious question – what might we expect for 2019?
Read more. (requires a free subscription)
Resource: Nicholas Bruch, Director, ALM Intelligence, Law.com
In lieu of big raises, employers could offer improved benefits, flexibility and career opportunities.
Employers may not feel pressured to significantly hike wages despite record low unemployment, say Federal Reserve Bank researchers.
By the end of 2018, the U.S. unemployment rate was just under 4 percent, its lowest level since 1969. "Could such an ostensibly tight labor market lead to a sharp pickup in wage growth from its recent moderate pace?" wrote Sylvain Leduc, Chitra Marti and Daniel Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in a new study.
Resource: Stephen Miller, CEBS, SHRM
The New Year is a time to shake off bad habits and resolve to make improvements. Four Altman Weil consultants comment on typical pitfalls of leadership and how to turn things around in 2019.
Resource: Thomas S. Clay, James D. Cotterman, Rees W. Morrison, Eric A. Seeger, Altman Weil
"Looking back on the developments in legal marketing over the past year, we saw some important advances, as well as some, let’s say, interesting quests to get new clients. Here’s my list of the top eight legal marketing stories of the year."
Resource: William Hornsby, Attorney at Work
Five questions with Mihui Pak, Vice President of Product for LegalMation. This brief read is filled with examples of how technology is automating routine litigation work, and it's not what you might think!
Resource: Erin Hichman, Legaltech News
As 2018 comes to a close, here are a few cybersecurity habits law firms shouldn’t bring in the new year.
Resource: Victoria Hudgins, Legaltech News
Jennifer Colwell, CLM, MBA — McGill, Gotsdinger, Workman, & Lepp
Kevin Costello — Holland & Knight LLP
Tammy Cowser, PHR, CP — Foley & Lardner LLP
Lisa Dasher, CLM, CPA, CGMA, Chair — Wicker Smith O'Hara McCoy & Ford P.A.
Rick Hellers — nQueue Billback LLC
Lana McGinnis, CLM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Vice Chair — Sturgill Turner Barker & Moloney, PLLC
Teresa Reiner, CLM — Gislason & Hunter LLP
Teresa Walker — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
Stephen Wolf, CLM, CPA — Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP
ALA Board of Directors Liaison to Committee
Michael Bumgarner, CLM, CPA, CGMA — Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC
ALA Liaison to Committee
Patricia S. Carrera, JD, CKM, CPLP — ALA's Sr. Director, Member Experience