Browne House Law attorney Jason P. Bailey has been appointed to the Long-Range Strategic Planning Task Force of the Alabama State Bar. State Bar President Sam W. Irby made the appointment after his trip to Tuscaloosa and appearance before the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association. This is Bailey’s second appointment to a bar committee or task force of the Alabama State Bar. Earlier in 2018, he was appointed to the State Bar’s Pro Bono Committee.
The Alabama State Bar is in the midst of a 5 year plan, designed by the Long-Range Strategic Planning group, the intent of which is to continue into the future the State Bar’s tradition of service lawyers and the public. The bar has sought to promote the professional responsibility and competence of its members, while also improving the administration of justice and increase the public’s understanding of and respect for the rule of law. The task force is charged with creating a plan of action to put the plan into practice and adopting it to current and emerging trends.
Using Technology To Serve Clients
Bailey is excited to join the task force and is particularly interested in the ways technology can be used to improve access to justice for those who have the benefit of legal representation and those pro se litigants who can’t afford a lawyer. The legal community is notorious for lagging behind the technological progress of nearly every other profession. When lawyers and law firms fail to adapt to current methods of communication and technology, they unnecessarily increase the burdens and costs to their clients.
Fortunately for clients of Browne House Law, its lawyers have pushed to use technology to its fullest. Indeed, from use of electronic records that allow Browne House attorneys to access client files anywhere in the state, to electronic signatures that allow Browne House clients to sign documents anywhere in the state this Tuscaloosa office seeks to use technology where it makes the practice of law better and cheaper for clients. However there are ways the legal system in Alabama can make it easier and cheaper for clients to obtain legal services, especially remotely. Today there are state created barriers to the efficient use of well established technology. For example in the areas of electronic signatures, searching public records, and business formation (especially the cumbersome process of creating and registering a new business) the failure to adapt to new methods slows growth and makes business and transactions more costly for clients. To the extent the State Bar can continue to push for the elimination of barriers to electronic advancements – such as it has done by adopting electronic filing – it can work to increase access to justice for all citizens of Alabama.
Working to Protect Data
Also of interest to Bailey is the State Bar’s emphasis on cybersecurity and guarding confidential client information. As the State Bar’s report warns,”In the age of data breaches and ransomware attacks, however, we can no longer wait and see. Deceptive cyberattacks have been executed successfully against Alabama lawyers and law firms of all sizes.” There is not yet a state level recommendation of best practices for law firms on how to secure and store their information – though there soon must be.