What Will Your 2018 Heart Phrase Be?
By Kimberly Hays
The month of February brings to mind images of cold weather, Valentine’s Day and Sweetheart conversation hearts – those chalky candy hearts only sold during February for Valentine’s Day. Created by the NECCO candy company more than 150 years ago, each conversation heart is imprinted with a message such as “Be Mine” and “Kiss Me.” The candy company tries to keep current with the times by adding new phrases each year such as “LOL,” “Text Me” and “Tweet Me.”
What message could be stamped on an OBA Sweetheart conversation heart? Some messages, such as “Your Word is Your Bond,” “Justice” and “Integrity” are relevant to our profession in both the past and present. My vision for 2018 OBA conversation hearts could include messages of “Technology,” “Aging of Our Profession” and “Competency.”
Your Oklahoma Bar Association, like the NECCO candy company, is working to offer members the education needed to stay current in these rapidly changing times.
In his book, Tomorrow’s Lawyers, Richard Susskind said, “The legal market is in an unprecedented state of flux. Over the next 20 years, the way in which lawyers work will change radically. Entirely new ways of delivering legal services will emerge, new providers will enter the market, and the workings of our courts will be transformed.”
One driving force to these changes is the constantly evolving world of technology. Our Oklahoma Supreme Court has acknowledged this new reality with modifications to the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct (ORPC). Rule 1.1 (Competence) requires that “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”
Comment  to Rule 1.1 explains that “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” [emphasis added]
OBA EDUCATION RESOURCES
As lawyers we are required to educate ourselves about the technologies available to our practice of law. You will find OBA CLE seminars covering these relevant topics throughout the year. Mark your calendars to attend the 2018 Solo & Small Firm Conference at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa June 21-23. This program always offers practical education to assist lawyers in the always-changing practice of law.
The changes to our profession are racing toward us. I encourage you to educate yourself on the opportunities and challenges faced by the practice of law. So this year, be like the NECCO candy company and update your practice with a new “message,” preferably one delivered by a form of emerging technology.
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal -- OBJ 89 pg. 4 (February 2018)