More lawyers turning to LegalFuel
Technology Committee offering info on online conferencing and blockchain
Online visits to the Bar’s LegalFuel website have soared in the past year, according to figures provided to the Bar’s Committee on Technology.
The committee, at its October 8 meeting at the Bar’s Fall Meeting, also was updated on its ongoing projects to provide — through LegalFuel — resources for lawyers for video conferencing and to help with blockchain technology. Both those were assigned to the committee by the Board of Governors’ Technology Committee.
LegalFuel Director Jonathon Israel told the committee, “We’re getting a lot more traffic from people coming to LegalFuel looking for our content and resources.”
For the 2018-19 Bar year, there were 564,101 pageviews on LegalFuel, with 422,996 unique pageviews and 96,282 users. For 2019-20, that rose to 702,158 total pageviews, 538,844 unique pageviews, and 118,639 users. Numbers continued strong for the first quarter of 2020-21 (July, August, and September) with 30,830 users, the highest quarter except for the preceding three months.
Free CLE courses are the most utilized part of the site, Israel said, accounting for 24.5% of all visits for the 2019-20 year. Next was the documents library, which offers forms for running the administrative side of a law firm. Individual CLE courses, particularly relating to meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, were also highly used, with the percentage rising markedly for the first quarter of 2020-21.
The courses included conducting online depositions, protecting documents kept on mobile devices, and reducing stress while dealing with pandemic effects.
“Bar members are definitely aware that we’re out here during this time and we are here to help and they’re coming to us for resources,” Israel told the committee.
He noted the CLE courses are linked to other resources offered through LegalFuel.
LegalFuel now has 118 CLE courses offering 151 hours of general CLE credit, 21 hours of ethics credit, and at least 83 hours of technology credit, Israel said.
“This is great news that more and more people are using the site,” said committee Chair Christine Senne.
Senne and Committee Vice Chair Beau Blumberg, who heads up the project to help lawyers with video conferencing, said work is ongoing to provide materials to help those working remotely. (See Bar News article here.)
“We’ve been doing a rolling production on all the materials. As we get them, we try to put them up. Not everything is on the website yet,” Blumberg said. “There’s still more articles and videos to be put up.”
He welcomed future contributions and ideas to expand the page.
The Video Conferencing Toolkit has programs on using Zoom, conducting online client conferences, basics for video conferences, managing webinars and large video conferences, recording online meetings, and more.
Committee member Anessa Santos, who co-chairs the subcommittee on blockchain, said there are three subgroups examining blockchain issues: evidence; data security and privacy; and lawyers accepting payment using cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is a system of creating and protecting computer records developed with the rise of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and that securely records the transactions and protects and prevents modification of records. Businesses have increasingly picked up blockchain technology because of the security and protection it offers for information, communications, and records.
Santos said the committee has made good progress on the first two issues and is beginning to study lawyers using cryptocurrency. She said plans are to have substantial information posted on LegalFuel by the end of the year.
“It will not be a static thing,” said committee Vice Chair Josh Marks, the other co-chair of the subcommittee. “It’s something this committee can contribute to and develop over time because it’s going to be an area that’s going to keep developing over time.”