Legal Law

One other state is approaching the Tech CLE mandate, however is restricted to cybersecurity

A third country could soon join the two who need technological training as part of a legal training lawyer.

Two countries currently require a mandatory technical CLE. In 2016, Florida was the first state to do so when it passed a rule requiring lawyers to do CLE three hours every three years "in approved technology programs."

In 2018, North Carolina followed this example and asked all attorneys to do one hour of CLE per year for technology training.

Another country gave Tech CLE what I called “lukewarm nodding” at the time. Last year, Maine passed a revised CLE rule that described maintaining technology literacy as a goal of CLE, but which did not require technical training.

Sharon Nelson's blog "Ride the Lightning" is now announcing that the New York State Bar Association has approved a report from the committee that recommends changing the mandatory training rule to require a cyber security loan.

The credit would be included in the CLE Ethics and Professionalism category and would not add to the minimum number of CLE hours lawyers need.

Although no broader technology CLE is required, the rule, if passed, would make New York the first state to pass a requirement specifically targeting cybersecurity CLE.

"Instead of recommending a general technology requirement, the committee believes that protecting cybersecurity is an urgent problem for lawyers and should be highlighted by a one-credit requirement," the technology and advocacy committee said in its report to the NYSBA House of Representatives.

The committee, led by Mark A. Berman of Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer LLP and Gail L. Gottehrer of the Gail Gottehrer LLC law firm, said in its report that it recommended mandatory cyber security training, both because of the importance of the problem of protecting customer trust and the lack of voluntary participation by lawyers in CLEs on the subject.

"Despite the press coverage of data breaches and, above all, law firm violations, the committee was surprised by the relatively low level of participation in NYSBA CLEs on cybersecurity, be it in person or through webinars," the report said.

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