New York has turn into the primary U.S. state to mandate that attorneys take persevering with authorized schooling programs in cybersecurity, privateness and information safety.

Under the brand new requirement, all attorneys should full one hour of coaching each two years in both the moral obligations surrounding cybersecurity, privateness and information safety, or within the technological and practice-related facets of defending information and consumer communications.

Only two different U.S. states mandate know-how coaching as a part of a lawyer’s persevering with schooling requirement, Florida and North Carolina. While these states’ CLE necessities permit for coaching in a spread of know-how subjects, which may embrace cybersecurity, New York’s is the primary to focus its requirement on these subjects.

New York had beforehand, in 2015, adopted the obligation of know-how competence for legal professionals.

Related: 40 States Have Adopted the Duty of Technology Competence.

The suggestion for the change got here from the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession, which stated in its report, issued in 2020, that it selected the precise requirement over a common one due to the significance of defending consumer and legislation agency information.

“The Committee agreed that such a general requirement may result in attorneys not actually focusing on what the Committee believes to be one of the most pressing and urgent issues facing our legal profession: cybersecurity protection of confidential and proprietary client and law firm electronic information and assets, which includes protecting client and law firm monies maintained in escrow and operating accounts, all of which are subject to phishing, scams, impersonation, fraud and other wrongful artifices,” the committee’s report stated.

“The Committee believes that requiring attorneys to take one credit in cybersecurity will sensitize and educate lawyers on how to secure confidential and proprietary client and law firm electronic information, and when and how to notify clients and/or law enforcement, as appropriate, in the event of a cyber incident.”

The suggestion was adopted June 10, 2022, in a joint order issued by the judicial departments of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, and the brand new requirement will take impact on July 1, 2023.

Under the order, the one-credit cybersecurity requirement doesn’t improve the general numbers of CLE hours required for New York attorneys, which is 32 hours for brand new attorneys and 24 for all different attorneys.

The order creates two varieties of cybersecurity coaching, one targeted on ethics and the opposite on apply. It describes the ethics coaching as follows:

Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection-Ethics should relate to legal professionals’ moral obligations {and professional} tasks relating to the safety of digital information and communication and will embrace, amongst different issues: sources of legal professionals’ moral obligations {and professional} tasks and their software to digital information and communication; safety of confidential, privileged and proprietary consumer and legislation workplace information and communication; consumer counseling and consent relating to digital information, communication and storage safety insurance policies, protocols, dangers and privateness implications; safety points associated to the safety of escrow funds; inadvertent or unauthorized digital disclosure of confidential data, together with by way of social media, information breaches and cyber assaults; and supervision of workers, distributors and third events because it pertains to digital information and communication.

The rule describes the practice-related coaching this fashion:

Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection-General should relate to the apply of legislation and will embrace, amongst different issues, technological facets of defending consumer and legislation workplace digital information and communication (together with sending, receiving and storing digital data; cybersecurity options of know-how used; community, {hardware}, software program and cellular machine safety; stopping, mitigating, and responding to cybersecurity threats, cyber assaults and information breaches); vetting and assessing distributors and different third events regarding insurance policies, protocols and practices on defending digital information and communication; relevant legal guidelines regarding cybersecurity (together with information breach legal guidelines) and information privateness; and legislation workplace cybersecurity, privateness and information safety insurance policies and protocols.

The rule permits legal professionals to use as much as three hours of the ethics coaching to their whole biennial ethics and professionalism requirement, which is six years for brand new attorneys and 4 years for different attorneys.

The committee that beneficial the change was cochaired by Mark A. Berman, Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer LLP, and Gail L. Gottehrer, vice chairman, international labor, employment & authorities relations, Fresh Del Monte.


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