The Brief 09.05.18: AFAs, Microsoft GC’s big announcement, and legal goes from profession to industry

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Cannabis law is becoming a smoking area of practice. Are you working in this new area of the law? Let us know by emailing us.

What we’re reading:

Family matters: Dev Stahlkopf, General Counsel for Microsoft Corp., announced on Thursday that the company will require its major suppliers (including outside counsel) to provide employees who handle Microsoft work with paid parental leave. The policy requires suppliers with more than 50 employees to offer a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, up to $1000/week, to those who take time off for the birth or adoption of a child.

Vive la résistance: Non-lawyers are changing the way legal services are delivered, Mark Cohen writes, and that’s been a tough pill for many in the profession to swallow. But lawyers have the opportunity to leverage their knowledge in ways that did not exist previously—as analysts, technologists, operations specialists, and other positions yet to emerge. Legal services are now an industry, and lawyers can either choose to accept that or continue to resist it—at their own peril.

Cybersecurity is-a comin’: In light of the rise in cybercrimes, corporate clients are now requiring law firms to complete extensive questionnaires on their data security programs and protocols as a term of engagement. Some are even performing on-site inspections of data security measures. Law firms of all sizes have failed to properly invest in the technology needed for data security, but they can learn from the missteps of other industries about cybersecurity awareness and prevention.

Double-crossed: In this extreme case of law firm competition (and straight-up plagiarism), Illinois firm Motta & Motta is suing Dolci & Weiland for robbing it of nearly 60% of its website traffic, as well as “co-opting” one of its own employees to steer callers to Dolci. Not good. While we can’t help with defectors in your office, there are a few ways you can recognize and protect your firm’s website from SEO dirty tricks.

Women of Legal Tech: Passion for Your Work Doesn’t Mean You’re Emotional. We knew it.

What we’re listening to:

Become a better lawyer in just five minutes a day. Lawyer Jeremy Richter discusses how creating a daily ritual to focus on developing your professional skills can be helpful to your clients, career, and law practice.

On the job board:


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Natalie Kovacic