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Ahead of the Curve

January 2019

PURPOSE

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.


    

"FROM THE MAINFRAME TO THE BLOCKCHAIN"

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.

Read more.

Resource: Reina G. Wiatt, CMA, CPA, Strategic Finance Magazine


"7 REASONS WHY CLOUD HOSTING SERVICES ARE IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BUSINESS"

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. 

Read more.

Resource: Christophe Reclat, Florida CPA Today


"HERE'S HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOUR EMAIL WAS ONE OF THE 773 MILLION EXPOSED IN MASSIVE DATA BREACH"

"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. 

Read more.

Resource: Chris Morris, Fortune


"THE ABCS OF THC: WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARIJUANA LAWS"

"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."

Read more.

Resource: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM


"TOP 10 TAKEAWAYS FROM NY LEGAL TECH’S ‘SCALING SMALL LAW’ MEETUP"

With the right expertise and technology, the sky's the limit for small firms.

Read more.

Resource: Kristin Tyler, Attorney at Work


"LEGAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT, PART 1: GETTING STARTED"

"Take the first steps toward using project management to improve your practice."

Read more.

Resource: Sam Glover, Attorney at Work


"GIG WORKERS CHALLENGE OLD ORDER"

The gig economy doesn’t fit yesterday’s work model, as businesses and laws play catch up.

Read more.

Resource: Susan Milligan, SHRM


"TREASURY ISSUES FINAL RULES ON KEY PART OF TRUMP'S TAX LAW"

Law firms organized as pass through activities get final guidance on the 20% pass through deduction.

Read more.

Resource: Naomi Jagoda, The Hill


"LAW FIRMS PROVIDING FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS"

"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.

Resource: Jason Tashea ABA Journal


"TRANSFORMING LAW FIRM CULTURE TO ENSURE INFORMATION SECURITY"

"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


"THREE TRANSACTIONS — WHICH MIGHT HAPPEN IN 2019 — THAT WOULD RESHAPE THE LEGAL MARKET"

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


"PAY WON'T RISE MUCH DESPITE LOW UNEMPLOYMENT, RESEARCHERS SAY"

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.

Read more.

Resource: Stephen Miller, CEBS, SHRM


"TWELVE LEADERSHIP RESOLUTIONS FOR 2019"

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.

Read more.

Resource: Thomas S. Clay, James D. Cotterman, Rees W. Morrison, Eric A. Seeger, Altman Weil


"THE TOP 8 DEVELOPMENTS IN LEGAL MARKETING IN 2018, AND A LOOK AHEAD"

"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."

Read more.

Resource: William Hornsby, Attorney at Work


"HOW ARE YOU HANDLING VAPING AT WORK?"

Companies may want to address e-cigarette use in their smoking policies.

Read more.

Resource: Lisa Nagele-Piazza, J.D., SHRM-SCP, SHRM


"DISRUPTING THE LEGAL SECTOR THROUGH TECHNOLOGY"

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!

Read more.

Resource: Erin Hichman, Legaltech News


"5 CYBERSECURITY HABITS LAW FIRMS SHOULD KICK IN 2019"

As 2018 comes to a close, here are a few cybersecurity habits law firms shouldn’t bring in the new year.

Read more.

Resource: Victoria Hudgins, Legaltech News


ALA Thumb

    

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE

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

pcarrera@alanet.org; 847-267-1252