Welcome to The Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute
Fraudulent Emails Alert
The Florida Bar has been made aware of several fraudulent emails that are being distributed to our members. These emails attempt to lure members to fraudulent web sites to input personal information and/or download virus infected programs.
If you receive an e-mail similar to the example messages detailed in the previous alerts linked here (the content may vary slightly), you should DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY.
- Respond to the Email in any way
- Click any links
- Open any attachment
- Provide any data to any web sites mentioned
Members can report any suspicious email they receive to Abuse@floridabar.org.
Subscribe to PRI Email Alerts to be sent warnings regarding fraudulent emails and other activity.
Malware includes viruses, spyware, and other unwanted software that gets installed on your computer or mobile device without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash, and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. They also can make your computer vulnerable to viruses and deliver unwanted or inappropriate ads. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
Here are reminders plus additional tips on how to generally keep malware off your computer.
Don’t immediately open email attachments or click on links in unsolicited or suspicious-looking emails. Think before you click! Instead of clicking on a link in an email, type the URL of a trusted site directly into your browser. Criminals send emails that appear to be from companies you know and trust. The links may look legitimate, but clicking on them could download malware or send you to a scam site. Either ignore unsolicited requests to open attachments or files or independently verify that the supposed source did send the email to you (by using a published email address or telephone number). Even if the attachment is from someone you know, consider if you really need to open the attachment, especially if the email looks suspicious.
Install good anti-virus software that periodically runs to search for and remove malware. Make sure to set the software to update automatically and scan for the latest malware.
Be diligent about using spam (junk mail) filters provided by your email provider. These services help block mass emails that might contain malware from reaching your email inbox.
Don’t visit untrusted websites and don’t believe everything you read. Criminals might create fake websites and pop-ups with enticing messages intended to draw you in and download malware. Anyone can publish information online, so before accepting a statement as fact or taking action, verify that the source is reliable. And please, don’t click on a link to learn more. If something sounds too good to be true, then most likely it’s fraudulent or harmful.
Be careful if anyone — even a well-intentioned friend or family member — gives you a disk or thumb drive to insert in your computer. It could have hidden malware on it. Don’t access a disk or thumb drive without first scanning it with your security software. If you are still unsure, don’t take a chance.
To learn more about how to protect against malware, visit OnGuardOnline: https://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0011-malware
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As part its ongoing commitment to address gender inequality with the goal of engaging members to improve the legal profession, The Florida Bar is offering a free online continuing legal education (CLE) course. "CARE to Improve the Conversation" (Course 1602559N) -- addresses gender bias and discrimination in the legal profession. The course, based on a presentation delivered by The Florida Bar President Ramon A. Abadin to a number of voluntary bar associations and local chapters of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers statewide, aims to bring greater awareness to sensitive workplace issues and elevate the conversation on how the profession can do better to narrow the gender gap. The course is designed to be completed over a single sitting taking roughly one hour to complete. Participants will receive one CLE credit upon completion.
PRI Interviews With Law Practice Management Industry Experts
Peggy Hoyt, Partner at Hoyt & Bryan, LLC., discusses how to attract your first clients when launching a new practice.
Stefan Rubin, Partner with Shutts & Bowen, LLP., discusses the considerations when choosing a business entity for your new law firm.
Keshara Cowans, Bar Counsel with The Florida Bar, discusses considerations to make to ensure you meet all Bar Ethics and Rules requirements when sharing office space with a non-lawyer.
Matt Herdeker, Orlando Branch Auditor with The Florida Bar, discusses considerations to make with depositing retainers into your trust account.
Jason Fogg, President and CEO of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, discusses considerations to make when selecting a malpractice insurance provider and plan for your new law firm.
Liz McCausland, Owner of Liz McCausland, P.A., discusses considerations to make when deciding to hire support staff for your new practice.
Listen To The Latest Episode
STARTING A NONPROFIT LAW FIRM
During the Great Recession many law schools saw their admissions decline sharply and many lawyers found themselves without employment. In some areas of the country these effects are still felt and present challenges for young attorneys looking to provide services for indigent or lower income clients. What options are there for under or unemployed lawyers who wish to help this demographic? In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares speaks with Open Legal Services co-founders Shantelle Argyle and Daniel Spencer about starting their nonprofit law firm. Dan starts the interview by mentioning that Shantelle came up with the idea, and that similar concepts had been attempted in the past, but an exclusively client funded firm had never been done before. They both recall that the catalyst for the idea was their unhappiness at their jobs at the time and that they were not practicing law. Shantelle describes their realization that the middle class was not able to access needed legal services and that there was a large untapped client market. She then goes into detail about how they established the nonprofit, their marketing approach, how they set their fees, and how they created the scale with which they determine which clients to accept. Dan also explains that although the company has never been profit driven it is critical for any new firm to meticulously monitor their cash flow. They both end the interview with a discussion of the technology they use to help manage the firm, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness available for attorneys working in the nonprofit sector, and the grand opening of their third office location. Shantelle Argyle is the co-founder and executive director of Open Legal Services. She received her bachelor of science from Utah Valley University and her juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. Daniel Spencer is the co-founder and supervising attorney of Open Legal Services. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney School of Law.
About The Florida Bar Podcast
The Florida Bar Podcast is a monthly series brought to you by The Florida Bar's Practice Resource Institute and will feature esteemed leaders in law discussing new and innovative topics. Its purpose is to help members of The Florida Bar as well as attorneys from other states run better practices and provide better legal services to their clients.
More Episodes To Check Out
- Digital Evidence and E-Discovery
- Data Security and Florida Breach Notification Law
- Cyber Security: How to Protect Your Firm and its Clients
- Building A Mobile Law Office
- A Beginner’s Guide to the Importance of Practice Management Programs
Member Benefits Available