Embroker Team February 20, 2024 5 min read

February 2023: The Legal Landscape

With COVID at long last (fingers crossed) no longer dominating headlines, many of us are finally breathing a much-needed sigh of relief. But as the mess and confusion of COVID subsidies, it leaves many learning lessons in its wake. The pandemic has proven the need for industries, including the legal sector, to be ready for the unexpected and be willing to adapt to the changes.

And we’re not just talking about preparing for another once-in-a-generation pandemic (because, honestly, we can’t even begin to think about that yet). Preparing for the unexpected means being ready for whatever untold challenges the universe throws your way. Point in case: cybersecurity risks – and there are a lot of them. Plus, let’s not forget that for the legal sector, preparing for and adapting to new risks also comes with the additional requirement of needing to protect client confidentiality. 

Is it impossible to achieve? No. Is it easy? That really depends on who you ask. But the reality is that those who hang on to yesterday’s status quo and don’t adapt will inevitably find themselves left behind. We may not have a crystal ball, but looking at the current legal landscape can help give some insight into what lies ahead.

Let’s get into it.

  • What’s Going On?
  • The Cybersecurity Conundrum
  • What the Future of Legal Services Will Look Like
  • What’s New from Embroker

What’s Going On?

ABA Passes Resolution Opposing Suspicious-Transaction Reporting Rule for LawyersThe Wall Street Journal

The American Bar Association recently passed a resolution opposing any legislation requiring lawyers to flag potentially illicit financial activity by their clients, arguing that would violate client confidentiality.

How organizations can best navigate the polarization & politicization of ESGThomson Reuters

One of the top challenges for organizations in 2023 is how to depoliticize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. It’s an issue that organizations across industries are grappling with, and the legal sector is no exception.

Why some women are ditching Big Law for smaller firmsFinancial Times

The post-pandemic era has seen a shift in individuals looking for a better work-life balance. This in-depth article looks specifically at a trend among women in the legal sector who are moving to smaller firms in the wake of COVID.

Meet The Start-Up Founder Connecting Arrestees to Free Legal SupportForbes

A unique tech hybrid is tackling mass incarceration in the U.S. head-on by providing early access to legal support.  

The Cybersecurity Conundrum

SEC suit ‘charts a perilous new course,’ hacked law firm says

Listen, no business is immune to cyber attacks. That’s why the global cybersecurity consulting services market is projected to reach $8.6 billion in 2027. But there are some unique concerns for the legal sector when it comes to cybersecurity.

Look no further than an ongoing courtroom battle between a U.S. law firm and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a prime example.

The SEC says the law firm in question, Covington & Burling, is the only place where it can obtain a list of the numerous Covington clients that were hacked. On the other hand, the firm is arguing that the SEC is fishing for information on clients whose identity it is obligated to protect. 

The cause of the dispute goes back to the far-reaching cyber attack on Microsoft’s email servers that was disclosed in March 2021. As a result of the attack, the SEC’s enforcement section launched an investigation into whether federal securities laws were broken. Covington & Burling found that hackers compromised its software in November 2020, affecting nearly 300 SEC-regulated clients.

In 2022, the SEC issued the law firm a subpoena, which Covington mainly complied with. But the law firm pushed back on the SEC’s demand that Covington provide the names and other information of the SEC-regulated clients affected by the hack. Covington’s lawyers have called the demand a “perilous new course” that could jeopardize the relationship between law firms and their clients. They’ve also cautioned that the SEC’s actions could discourage law firms from disclosing future cyber incidents to the government. 

There’s a lot at stake with this case, which could set future precedents. For law firms around the country, it’s worth keeping an eye on the outcome – and, in the meantime, making sure they have a good cyber insurance policy in place.

What the Future of Legal Services Will Look Like 

How Transformative Will Generative AI And Other Tools Be For The Legal Industry?

There’s no question that AI is here to stay, but what does that mean for the legal industry regarding how services are delivered going forward? In a nutshell: lots.

AI is already being used to improve efficiencies and reduce overhead costs in the legal profession, with many law firms regularly using it to conduct research and review documents. But AI has the potential to drastically transform the legal field.

We’ve all heard the old saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ However, just because something’s been done one way for years doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to do it. There’s no question that change isn’t always easy. But it can also be exciting, and there’s certainly a lot to look forward to in the legal field when it comes to new technologies.

We can also squash any fears that AI will replace lawyers. The fact is that new technologies will only improve how lawyers get work done, and lawyers who use AI will replace those who don’t use it.

The bottom line is that law firms utilizing AI and other tech solutions will stand out from the competition. 

What’s New from Embroker?

Upcoming Events, Stories, and More

Embroker’s New Law Insurance Bundle

Whether you’re a solo firm or a practice with multiple attorneys and support staff, there are risks that could jeopardize your business. Our new Law Bundle has legal professional liability and cyber coverage, as well as other offerings depending on the size of your firm. 

Introducing ONE by Embroker

We recently launched ONE by Embroker, a universal application that utilizes AI and machine-learning technologies to generate business insurance products tailored to specific industry needs.

The 3 Elements of Cybersecurity: You Need Them All

In this recently published article, Tom Lambotte, a cybersecurity expert, looks at the three elements of cybersecurity protection: prevention, detection, and response. 

How to Find an Insurance Broker for Your Business

Contrary to popular belief, not all insurance brokers are the same. This guide is full of tips to help you find the right insurance broker for your business.  

Like What You’re Reading?

Check out the Embroker Blog for more.

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