It is undeniable that technology and globalization are changing the way lawyers practice law. Technology has not just made people, places, and things much more accessible to us – it has impacted the way we store information and documents, the way we communicate with and advise clients, how we conduct investigations, and how we participate in discovery. Likewise, globalization has brought with it an increasing number of legal issues that cross jurisdictional lines, and, as a result, more lawyers need to cross those lines in order to solve them. In addition, economic forces have resulted in both newer and more experienced lawyers relocating or seeking employment outside the jurisdiction in which they were originally licensed.
The American Bar Association (ABA) is cognizant of these changes. In August, 2012 and February, 2013 – after a three-year study of how technology and globalization are transforming the practice of law – the ABA amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) to address the regulation of lawyers in light of these twenty-first century realities. This article contains a summary of the most substantive changes adopted. view more