January President's Message

 Sean Monahan

Happy New Year PSALA!

Although our chapter year ends March 31, this time of year is always an opportunity to start new habits.  A goal I have set is to spend more time learning about the legal industry through the ALA Legal Management Magazine.  There are so many niche sources of information, including entire sub-genres of Twitter dedicated to legal technology and changes in the profession, that it becomes easy to get stuck in an echo chamber.  Worse still is letting day to day fires prevent us from continuing our education and learning something new.  We have a great slate of exciting in-person (and online streaming) Meet-Ups in 2018, but sometimes you only have time to read a few articles on the bus or ferry.  Once you finish the latest issue of Soundings, I recommend checking out these stories from recent Legal Management Magazine issues.

Trending Resources: 8 Progressive HR Practices for the Modern Law Firm

As a people business, there is nothing more important than developing a strong team and supporting them with new and innovative practices that ensure everyone is happy and productive.  Whether it’s proactive career development, flexibility as a policy, or developing technology and automation to allow people to do higher level work, it is imperative that we find creative ways to empower individuals to meet their goals.  Doing so will help us recruit and retain a diverse, engaged team to support our clients.

Don’t Assume Your Data Isn’t at Risk

Data security is no longer a niche topic relegated to the IT world, but rather an existential question of survival for all businesses, including law firms.  This article, along with others in the October issue, illuminate the changing nature of cyber threats and highlight what we have come to know: Security is not a one time box to check, but a continuously evolving part of normal operations going forward. 

Marijuana Makes an Impact on Legal

As a state that has legalized marijuana, every law firm has had to make its own determination as to wether and how it services clients participating in state licensed marijuana activities.  The basis for these analyses rely in part on changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct and guidance from the United States Department of Justice, the latter of which is discussed in this article from September.  However, as news continues to develop with respect to the enforcement of federal law against licensed state businesses, it will be important to remain vigilant about these issues and continue to evaluate the nature and method of the advice we provide clients.

Sean Monahan