Practitioners have had to reimagine their firms with remote work environments, and soon a new form of office environment that will include remote work. Practitioners must balance the needs of the partners and staff with the safety and protection of the firm’s data. The firm is ultimately responsible for its own data security as well as client data they store. What computers do staff use? Should you provide staff with firm laptops and move to docking stations at the office? What should you do about voice activated devices that could record attorney-client confidential communications? Business development has changed as a result of the remote work environment. Tips for business development in the new work structure will be offered including the following:
• A growing problem that has become unavoidable lately is “Shadow IT”. Shadow IT has increased during this pandemic (devices and applications that access – or run on – the firm’s network but which are not approved by the Firm). Currently firms may be unable to monitor user activities and, in turn, this activity becomes a significant threat to data security and compliance. Users have improvised and found solutions on their own that may not be in compliance with IT policies.
• Users need enhanced training on safely working from remote locations.
• IT Departments need to listen to their users and come up with a game plan that balances security and ease of use.
• Back to work plans need to be considered.
• Firms need to inventory data that is stored on unapproved devices or storage (thumb drives, Dropbox, etc.), collect it and remove it from the unapproved source.
• How rotating offices impacts tech decisions (you work in a new office each time you show up?)
• Are you using electronic letterhead or printing letters on paper?
• Do you still hold original wills? Should you?
• What do ethics pronouncements say about obligations to safeguard data? What steps should you take NOW to demonstrate compliance?
Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq., InterActive Legal Founder ^
Jonathan G. Blattmachr has over 35 years of experience in trusts and estates law and is currently a Principal at Pioneer Wealth Partners, LLC. He is a retired member of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and the Alaska, California and New York Bars. Mr. Blattmachr writes and lectures extensively on estate and trust taxation and charitable giving and has authored or co-authored eight books and over 500 articles on estate planning topics. He also co-developed Wealth Transfer Planning™, an InterActive Legal software system published for lawyers that provides specific client advice and automated document assembly for wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and other estate planning documents.
Peter Fidler, WCA Technologies ^
Peter Fidler, President and founding partner of WCA Technologies has more than 30 years of Information Technology experience working with Not for Profit, Legal and Financial organizations. Peter began his career in IT with the New York City Office of Management and Budget. It is at this government agency that he met coworker and fellow IT professional, Warren Eng. Fast forward 30 years later, Peter and his partner, Warren Eng, continue to manage WCA Technologies – an IT Support, IT Consulting, and Managed IT Services company located in midtown Manhattan. Most of WCA’s clients are still doing business with them today. WCA Technologies attributes its success and longevity to core business principles, including: forging a lasting partnership with clients, commitment to excellence when troubleshooting client issues, serving and acting on behalf of clients’ best interests. Their roster of clients is diverse – law firms, non-profits, financial companies, small to medium-sized businesses throughout the Tri-State area.
As a native New Yorker, Peter takes pride in solidifying and building a network of local partnerships. He currently sits on the New York City Board of the IAMCP and is a member of the Ingram SMB Alliance, and HTG Peer Group. Peter has an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University and B.S. in Marketing from Bentley University. When he’s not creating IT business solutions, Peter enjoys yoga, cooking, and attending Giants football games.
Martin M. Shenkman, Esq., InterActive Legal Advisor ^
Martin M. Shenkman is an attorney in private practice in Fort Lee, NJ, and New York City. His practice concentrates on estate and tax planning, planning for closely held business, and estate administration. Mr. Shenkman is an author of over 40 books and more than 800 articles. He is an editorial board member of Trusts & Estates Magazine and the Matrimonial Strategist, and an advisor for InterActive Legal. He is the recipient of many awards including being a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Accredited Estate Planners (Distinguished) award from the National Association of Estate Planning Counsels. Mr. Shenkman was named Financial Planning Magazine 2012 Pro-Bono Financial Planner of the Year for his efforts on behalf of those living with chronic illness and disability. Investment Adviser Magazine featured him on the cover of its April 2013 issue naming as the lead of their “all-star lineup of tax experts.”
Mary E. Vandenack, Esq., Vandenack Weaver LLC ^
Mary Vandenack brings extraordinary energy and focus to her work for clients. A founding member and the firm’s managing partner, Mary is an expert in the interrelated areas of tax, business, real estate, health care, private wealth, estate planning, business succession planning and asset protection planning. Acting as outside legal counsel for closely held businesses in conjunction with the ability to proactively address the legal issues of business owners is an area of special expertise. Mary is an innovator in the integration of technology into the practice of law. Under Vandenack’s guidance, the firm has been on the leading edge of client service and technology. Mary won the American Bar Association James I. Keane Award, presented at Techshow 2015, in recognition of her efforts in the area of e-lawyering.
InterActive Legal is not an approved Continuing Education Sponsor. However, several states and regulatory agencies for a variety of professionals that participate on our teleconferences may still receive continuing education credit for their participation. If a participant wishes to receive CE credit for their participation in these teleconferences, they must apply to receive credit on their own and through their individual states and regulatory authorities. It is the responsibility of the participant to file for CE credit and is not guaranteed by the webinar sponsors.
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