Sophisticated technology skills are vital for law students and attorneys, and considered a required competency to practice law.
- The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provide that attorneys must provide competent representation. According to Rule 1.1, "[c]ompetent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation." The Comments to Rule 1.1 further state, "[t]o maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject." (emphasis added)
- Additionally, the State Bar of California has technology requirements for attorneys.
To improve and expand your technology skills, consult the user guides and videos provided by software and databases. Also, USC subscribes to LinkedIn Learning, which has a vast number of videos covering a wide range of must-have tech skills. You may also find suitable educational videos in Trojan Learn (trojanlearn.usc.edu). This guide offers further resources to gain the technology competency to practice law.