Overcoming privacy and confidentiality challenges for attorneys.
There arrived a particular hour on a particular weekend after “spring break” 2020, or maybe it wasn’t until the end of March, when a wave of anxiety washed away the bliss of working at home in sweatpants. For many lawyers, maybe it was the day we learned that we could not work in the office buildings where our law firms are located or that we could not make a live appearance at a hearing in the courthouse. And so it began, at different times, for different reasons, and in different ways that we established our “new norms.”
The new remote lawyering norm creates novel challenges because many of us have been forced to quickly and significantly change our workplace and the ways we interact with clients, courts, colleagues, and each other. Lawyers who are inexperienced with maintaining a law practice from home have developed a sudden need to know how to not only use technology effectively but also how to use it in a way that complies with legal and ethical obligations toward clients and their information. To help bridge the gap between the number of questions about how to do it right and the available answers, this article sets forth some guidelines and best practices to help lawyers navigate the regulatory and ethical challenges of working from home, arising in the context of privacy and confidentiality.