Sam Glover, founder of The Lawyerist, believes that all lawyers must be familiar with the fundamental operating principles of the technology that we use every day. In his opinion, basic knowledge of the internet and how computers work is essential to the maintenance of legal competence as set out in the American Bar Association’s Rule 1.1. – specifically Comment 8, which talks about “the benefits and risks associated with current technology.”
Glover argues that without knowledge of how the internet came into being and how it works, we cannot competently assess the risks to clients and ourselves of various security threats, or even the use of computer functions that have become commonplace – such as working with a cloud.
For an introduction to basic knowledge about the internet – or simply to assess whether our current knowledge is accurate and adequate – Glover refers us to a primer published on the general-interest news site Vox: “Everything You Need to Know About the Internet” by Timothy B. Lee. The article includes 18 clearly written and easily comprehended points that range across such questions as “Where is the internet?” and “What is an IP address?”
Even if you feel that you are well informed about internet-related matters, the Vox article is an excellent refresher. Like Glover, I recommend that all lawyers check it out.
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