Second Annual Innovation in Law Practice Committee Practice Management Symposium – Review
By Christine Hashimoto
What does it mean to be innovative? This question was posed in the opening session of the Second Annual Innovation in Law Practice Committee Practice Management Symposium hosted by the Innovation in Law Practice Committee. Ultimately it was decided that innovation can be anything that increases our ability to practice law.
Innovation comes in many different forms and this symposium addressed several of them with broad strokes. While the symposium did not give us all the answers, it asked the important questions and certainly began the conversation.
Technology is often the first thing we think of when it comes to innovation. It has changed the legal profession in profound and lasting ways. From online legal libraries, to e-filing and how we engage with our clients, technology is continually changing the way we practice law. The ABA has taken note of this and added to the comment of the ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 that in order to maintain competence "a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology."
Legal research is one of the areas that seems to change on an almost daily basis. I remember the single day in law school they took us to the library to show us how to look up a case in a book and then told us that we would never need to do that again. At the conference we were introduced to the new online legal research platform Fastcase, which is available to all members of the Bar, for free, through the Bar's online portal. This new program replaces Casemaker. Fastcase will enable all members of the Utah State Bar to ensure that the research they are presenting to clients, opposing counsel, and the courts is up to date and relevant. There will be additional training on this tool available online and at the Fall Forum in November.
In addition to the technology we use to become more efficient in our...