Small Law Firms Must Take Action and Address Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulations




Small Law Firms Must Take Action and Address Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation


February 15, 2024


By Daniel Garrie, Esq., Peter A. Halprin, Esq., and Elsa Ramo, Esq.

Cybersecurity and privacy regulations have become increasingly important in recent years due to the exponential growth of technology and the internet. The legal industry, including small law firms, is not immune to these challenges. In fact, small law firms must prioritize cybersecurity and privacy regulations to protect their clients’ sensitive information and maintain their professional reputations. This article explores the reasons why small law firms need to care about cybersecurity and privacy regulations and provides recommended first steps.

Six Reasons Why Small Law Firms Should Be Concerned About Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulations


    1. Ethical Obligations

As legal professionals, lawyers have an ethical obligation to protect their clients’ confidential information. Rules of professional conduct across various jurisdictions emphasize the importance of maintaining client confidentiality and safeguarding client data. Failing to uphold these ethical obligations can lead to disciplinary action.

From social media posts to a third-party vendor who is managing the website to a company processing a credit card payment on behalf of the firm, the lawyer has an ethical responsibility to ensure that all parties that interface with the law firm are operating under strict confidentiality and complying to prevent the disclosure of confidential information.

    1. Legal Obligations

Small law firms may also be subject to privacy regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Non-compliance with these regulations can result in financially devastating consequences for small law firms.

As noted above, it is not simply a limited duty for the attorney to maintain confidentiality, but rather the attorney and law firm have a legal obligation to ensure that client information is stored in a way that protects privacy. More often than not, small law firms are paperless and store virtually all of their data electronically, so the law firm must ensure that how, where, and who is storing that data is in compliance with applicable law.

To read the full article, go to ALM

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