The Florida Bar

Florida Bar News

How Florida lawyers can install a Zoom virtual background

News in Photos

FSU Law WallpaperOver the past month, the Florida court system has largely transitioned to a virtual environment.

But as former Bar President Gene Pettis reminded us in a recent column in the News, with every paradigm shift, there are some undesired consequences and working from home has immediately relaxed the rules around professional attire.

“However, as we begin using more videoconferencing and other technology to carry out legal activities, including hearings, depositions, and other meetings, it is important for us to maintain the appearance of professionalism.,” said Pettis, who also noted how you present yourself — in appearance and in substance — leaves an impression and “such impressions can, at some point, go beyond your personal reputation and impact that of your client.”

As thousands of lawyers have suddenly found themselves using the video conferencing platform Zoom, lawyers may feel displaced when conducting their usual business virtually from home instead of their typical office or courthouse.

With questions raised about the professionalism of virtual video appearances in one’s home, Zoom provides users with features that bring a degree of normalcy back to meetings, namely, the virtual background feature. With this feature, Zoom allows its users to change their video background to an image of their choosing. If you have not already downloaded Zoom, you can do so here.

Technical Requirements of Virtual Backgrounds Zoom’s virtual background feature requires specific technology requirements for Windows and Mac, which are listed below:

For Windows users, all versions of Zoom up to 4.45 can run this feature with Windows 7, 8, or 10 64-bit. For Zoom 4.54 or higher, you need Windows 10 64-bit to operate this function. If you are using a green screen, this feature can function on an older version of Zoom for Windows, specifically version 3.5.5.

For Mac users, you can access this feature without a green screen using at least version 4.6 and with a green screen using version 3.5.5 or higher, both needing MacOS 10.9 or later.

Full technology requirements, including processing and Linux requirements, can be found here.

How to Enable Virtual Backgrounds in Zoom

Once you determine that you have the sufficient technology to run the virtual background feature, you can enable it in three easy steps.

uf_law-zoom_background-century-towerFirst, sign in to your Zoom account on your web browser (not the downloaded application), select My Meeting Settings if you are an account administrator, or the meeting section under the settings tab on the left-hand side of the screen if you are an account member. Ensure that the virtual background option is toggled “on,” then you are ready to start using it.

To implement this feature once you are in a meeting, click the ^ arrow next to the stop video button with the camera icon and select “Choose Virtual Background…”. If you decide to forgo the use of a green screen, you may be prompted to download a package to allow the use of the virtual background without a green screen.

Next, select one of the backgrounds provided by Zoom, or upload a background from your device by selecting the “+” icon.

A growing number of law schools are offering Zoom backgrounds, including the following:

University of Florida Law

Florida State University Law

Nova Southeastern University Law

Harvard Law

If your law school is not listed, visit the school’s website to find out if they offer a virtual background or similar image file that meets Zoom’s requirements.

News in Photos