A couple of her recent posts caught my eye:
This book will make many lawyers think about “cutting the cord” from the major online legal research services, and will be a great starting point for those who try it. Check it out.
Personal Note: The high quality of this book was no surprise to me. I’ve known and respected Carole for over two decades (her Internet for Lawyers website was the Netlawtools “MVP” way back in January 2000). I’m looking forward to meeting Judy.
Irwin Kramer notes that law firms who suffer a ransomware attack may have an ethical requirement to report the incident to clients:
Because law firms maintain huge repositories of sensitive data, they are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. You may not be able to prevent all attacks, but you should consult with a cybersecurity expert to improve your resistance to them. When all else fails, don’t compound the problem by concealing it from affected clients. If you do, your data breach will morph into a breach of ethics.
Another major incentive to take measures to reduce vulnerability to such attacks. The threat is real and the consequences for your legal practice can be severe.
Is it a good idea to spend a lot of time disinfecting your law office? Possibly not, but make sure your clients are aware of this, and other security measures you take. Security theater is real. Make sure it works for you.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell had a nice discussion of security theater in the June 19 edition of the Kennedy-Mighell podcast, prompted by my question. (Yeah, I’m a little behind in my podcast listening). It has become a timely topic in light of Covid-19.
Another example of security theater at Talking Points Memo provides context:
I’ll have some additional comments on their analysis later, but those interested will want to give it a listen. Check out the show notes (i.e., transcript) at the same link if you’d rather read than listen.
[Disinfecting schools] is mostly mitigation theater, taking action that is high profile and relatively easy because things that would actually make a difference are either too hard or have been ruled out in advance because of difficulty or politics. It’s the germ theory version of looking for the missing keys under the street lamp because that’s where the light is.
The bulk of evidence from the Spring and Summer is that COVID transmission is mainly through the air, either exhalation and inhalation of people in immediate proximity to each other or airborne contagion through recirculated air or contagion that persists in the air for some period of time.
Of course, same thing applies to your law office. That doesn’t mean security theater is necessarily a bad idea. If it makes those in your organization or potential clients feel more secure, it could be a great idea.
As explained in Presentation Tip 12, the first step in online training is deciding on your level of ambition. What quality level do you need? What is your level of technical skill? How much time do you have?
Once you decide on your preferred quality level, you can decide what level of equipment you will need. We provided some advice on camera selection in Presentation Tip 12. Let’s consider microphone selection.
Which is more important for online presentations, video or audio?Most lawyers would say video is more important.
Dennis Kennedy knows better: Audio quality is more significant. The microphone in your typical desktop computer or laptop is usually pretty poor. Most computer purchasers prioritize things like processor speed, memory or display quality. It makes sense for them to cut corners on microphone quality.
Unfortunately, it’s harder to get good audio. Again, the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast provides a good starting point for analysis:
Microphone built into your laptop or desktop. Use this only if high quality is not important to you.
Headset with built-in microphone. These can be better than a laptop or desktop. Exercise some care in your selection. Mighell likes the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC.
Lavalier mic. These are generally comparable in quality to headsets. which then again allows you not to have great microphone technique, but will still pick
Stand alone microphone. The Kennedy-Mighell Report uses a Shure 58. Many other high quality mics are available.
More in our next Presentation Tips post.
This Law Practice Today article summarizes several key ideas from the new second edition of the related Levitt/Davis book How to Perform Online Legal Research Without Spending a Dime | ABA Law Practice Today
Good article, but it’s no substitute for getting the book. It’s currently available from the ABA.
My detailed review will be available soon.
The monthly ABA magazine Law Practice Today always has good articles, but the July issue is something special. It is a compilation of some of the magazine’s best articles. In this case, recycling is good.
It’s hard to pick my favorite article, but a top candidate is the summary of the intersection of cybersecurity and legal ethics by David Reis. He’s written several books on related topics was the featured guest in a recent edition of one of my favorite podcasts, Digital Detectives. The interviewers were no slouches, either, being Sharon Nelson and John Simek of the Ride the Lightning blog.
When I used to do more computer security-related work, my go-to resource was the SANS Institute. It’s discouraging but educational that even top pros like them can fall for a phishing attack.
Phishing attacks are probably the most serious computer security threat out there now.
Dennis and Tom in a recent Kennedy-Mighell podcast noted a recent example that tended to show training employees had only limited benefits. Testers sent simulated phishing emails to a firm’s employees after they had been warned that such a test might be performed. Nevertheless, nearly all the employees fell for the phony emails.
Nevertheless, it’s foolish not to at least attempt to attempt to educate your employees. If it prevents even one incident that otherwise might result in ransomware or worse, it would be worth it.
Threatpost has some other suggested defensive tips.
Everyone understands why online presentations have become more important than ever. This is the first in our series of online Presentation Tips. We invite you to travel along with us.
Here are a few of the better resources we’ll be discussing:
- CALI’s Preparing for the Future of Legal Education – Online Teaching Tips & Techniques. Lots of good free stuff.
- A couple of podcasts from the ever-helpful Kennedy-Mighell Report, both of which have transcripts available for the podcast averse:
- Top Tips & Tools for Better Online Presentations
- Video & Audio Quality Matter — Make Your Remote Work More Professional
So what do you want? Do you want a professional setup for talking to clients or colleagues? Do you want a more polished setup to record videos for YouTube or other services? I think the purpose that you have is going to determine the kind of setup that you have got. And I tend to agree with you, if you want something that’s more professional, more polished, if you tend to want to make more of what you are going to be doing with this, what you have likely is not going to work.
Dennis Kennedy‘s followup provides a perfect example for the ambition issue: Use the camera built into your laptop only if you don’t care about quality.
Cameras are typically not a primary consideration for laptop purchasers, so manufacturers tend to use very cheap cameras. What if you are more ambitious?
- Cameras in smartphones or tablets provide an easy way to get a better result. This may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense. Since camera quality is a discriminating factor behind mobile device purchases, manufacturers strive to provide higher quality cameras. Mighell observes: “I decided to use my iPad to attend a Microsoft Teams meeting and the quality difference in the camera was 1,000% better on the iPad.” A USA Today affiliate article has some advice.
- Dedicated high-resolution web cameras are the next step up. Logitech is a reliable brand name. Mighell recommends the Logitech C930, but they are in short supply, and vendors recently have taken advantage of the market to bump up the price. A Google search will find one, or a model of comparable quality.
- If you are striving for the highest quality, a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera may be your best choice. These are general purpose cameras that can be adapted for online use. They generally have the best quality. The downside is that they can be trickier to set up. Engadget has good advice on the ins and outs.
Microphone selection is similar: Choose the level that best matches your ambition level. More on microphone selection in our next Presentation Tip post.