In Support of VPNs

I’ve written about VPNs before on this site and how they can provide a layer of security for mobile attorneys. A few weeks ago, Ars Technica published an article entitled Die, VPN! We’re all “telecommuters” now—and IT must adjust. The thrust of the article is that, with the rise of mobile devices and other technologies (like cloud storage), the VPN is obsolete. It doesn’t suit the way we work.

Today, Ars published an op-ed piece disagreeing with that article. It’s worth the read for anyone who does make or may make future security and IT infrastructure decisions.

The author points out the ever-increasing number of corporate data breaches and suggests that VPNs can alleviate a lot of the problems. After walking through a real-life corporate breach and how it might have been prevented, the author warns, “while VPNs might not be a perfect solution to every problem, they serve a critical purpose in today’s world where, indeed, we’re all telecommuters. Abandoning VPNs because you heard they are inconvenient is, frankly, a reckless and potentially devastating mistake.”

Bento and the Zen of Client File Management

When we opened our firm, I had no idea how to run a law office; they don’t teach that in law school. Early on, my girlfriend gave me Jay Foonberg’s How to Start & Build a Law Practice. And while some of the information in it is painfully outdated (first edition © 1976), it was a good starting point.

But I put off setting up a formal file management system. Why bother? It was easy to keep track of three files with nothing in them. After a while, it got harder. Did I send a disengagement letter for that case? When you asked for the Smith file, did you mean his divorce file or his estate plan? Is that case open or closed? What’s the next step in that case over there?

So I broke out the Foon’s book and turned to the chapter entitled “Simple Hard-Copy Filing Systems for the New Lawyer.” I like simple, and the Foon was serious about the simple part. Continue reading