Affinity Consulting Blog

With so many cybersecurity threats and ransomware warnings and hijacked databases in the news, panic is beginning to set in! How can you possibly prepare for such an enemy of your law firm – and your clients?! Is it inevitable?

The Thought Leaders from Sensei Enterprises are here to put your panic into perspective with our latest installment in Affinity’s Thought Leadership Webinar Series. Cybersecurity expert and Sensei Enterprises President Sharon Nelson will share her Top 5 Cybersecurity Tips on April 28th at 11:30 am EST. Along with Sensei Vice President, John Simek, they will share five simple tips can dramatically slash the risk of law firms suffering a data breach.

Affinity Partner Steve Best co-hosted, along with lawyer, author, and podcaster Dennis Kennedy, a series of "TECHSHOW Today" live videos from ABA TECHSHOW 2017 in Chicago.

The videos, sponsored by LegalTalk Network, included interviews with several of the leading TECHSHOW 2017 presenters as well as next year's TECHSHOW co-chairs.

So you’re a successful lawyer in a stress-free law firm where everyone works together in harmony and treats each other with mutual respect, right? If this doesn’t describe your everyday law practice and life perhaps you can spare a few minutes on Friday, March 31st to learn how to live a happier life!

Join Nora Bergman at 11:30am on March 31st for her 5 in 15 webinar as part of the Affinity Thought Leadership Webinar Series. Throughout 2017, Affinity Consulting will host the best and brightest thought leaders in our industry to share their top 5 tips and trends that will affect your law firm. These short webinars will deliver immediate information in a quick 15 - 20 minute format.

This post originally appeared on from Affinity Consulting Group Partner Jeff Krause.

Email is the most common form of communication in almost every business. Law firms are no exception. Email is fast and convenient. An entire discussion or exchange can occur and conclude over a short period of time and that discussion is memorialized in the emails. Email can be received anywhere the recipient has access to their account, which these days is just about anywhere.

Along with these many positive qualities, email also has negatives. There are social aspects such has how impersonal email can be and a tendency to say things in an email that would never be said in person or over the phone. Used the wrong way, email can also have dramatic ethical implications for lawyers. Just like a letter placed in the mail, email travels a path from sender to recipient. However, unlike a letter that remains unopened along this path, an email may be copied from server to server along the path. It can be intercepted, read by others, forwarded inadvertently and subject to the infamous reply all.

Barron Henley was named as one of 50 invite-only members of the second TBD Law conference in St. Louis on February 26-28, representing some of the most innovative and forward-thinking solo and small firm lawyers to step outside their comfort zone to reimagine the law practices of tomorrow. The event, a joint effort of the online small firm community, and meeting facilitation company, Filament , is focused on convening innovative small firm lawyers and changing the nature of legal conferences and the legal profession.

“The first TBD Law conference was the two most valuable days of my professional life as a solo, and I will continue to reap the benefits of these two days for years to come,” said 2016 participant Megan Zavieh.

Top Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Resellers Earn Prestigious Recognition

Software Technology, Inc. announced the members of the 2017 President’s Circle for Tabs3 and PracticeMaster software. President’s Circle members are selected annually based on their expertise with Tabs3 and PracticeMaster software, their strong client relationships, and their sales.

Affinity University has a new look - and it isn't just the logo! Rather than paying for one course at a time, we have changed our model. Now legal professionals have access to the training they need, when they need it.

We came across this in our twitter feed and thought it was a great idea to encourage wellness in the workplace. We have since started a 10,000 step challenge in our office and everyone is upping their step game! We wanted to share this blog by the South Carolina Bar on their “Living Above The Bar” Wellness Program!

From the South Carolina Bar:

In August, you may have seen attorneys talk about how they’re #LivingAboveTheBar on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but what does that mean, and where did the hashtag come from?

As a group, lawyers have high levels of stress, dissatisfaction, burnout, divorce, preventable disease, suicide and substance abuse. Knowing this, SC Bar leaders knew that inaction would only serve to exacerbate these issues. In 2014 the Bar created the Wellness Task Force, and after a successful year made the task force into a standing committee. Living Above the Bar is the Wellness Committee’s program that aims to help lawyers achieve total wellness: mentally, physically and socially.

The committee has secured fitness partners in the community that offer SC Bar members discounts on anything from personal training to massages. They also developed a statewide speakers bureau and hosted a variety of health-focused sessions at the 2015 and 2016 SC Bar Conventions. These resources and more are housed on the committee’s website,, which has an abundance of healthy tips, recipes and information.


In August the committee decided to continue the wellness conversation with the “Just for the Health of It” Photo/Video Contest. The contest was led by Website Subcommittee Chair Jasmine D. Smith.

We wanted to reach out to the larger audience of SC Bar members to encourage them to take small steps toward improving their everyday lives,” said Smith. “We hoped the contest would give Bar members the opportunity to interact and discuss key wellness issues on a variety of social media platforms.”

The committee encouraged Bar members and the public to participate in using social media to share their healthy tips, recipes and workout regiments with each other. Multiple submissions were encouraged; however, all photos and videos submitted via social media had to include the hashtag #livingabovethebar and a caption with a brief description to be eligible for prizes. Participants also had the option to email their submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In the end, the contest received more than 175 submissions, addressing a wide range of wellness topics. Three contest winners were randomly selected on Facebook live stream on Sept. 12, and received an Apple Watch, FitbBit and fitness prize pack.

Thank you to all the Bar members and community participants who submitted such impressive videos and photos,” said Smith. “Your contributions will surely encourage members of our Bar to make small changes to live a healthier life.”

Check out the wellness blog at to see all of the contest submissions!

The Reasonable Care Standard Doesn’t Stop with Your Phone

The recent growth and demand for cloud based applications has increased the attention attorneys give to the protection of their client’s data. We research whether it is ethical to store client data in the cloud. When we shop for cloud based technology, we grill the vendor on their security, encryption, and their promise to protect our information. 256 bit? Dual Authentication? We need it all!

The truth is, it is probably more likely that you will leave your phone at the coffee shop or at your daughter’s volleyball game than you will be the victim of a major security breach or hack. So what are you, the person with the obligation to protect the data, doing to make sure your phone is secure?

The best approach is to simply not store confidential Information on your phone. However, that's easier said than done as we rely more and more on our phones to stay connected to the office and our clients. Further, many lawyers don't store confidential information on their phones, but use apps and other remote connection options to access confidential information from their phones. Of course, those same apps might be used by unauthorized users to access the same information if the phone fell into the wrong hands.

If you are going to carry or access confidential client information on your phone, it is essential that you employ security. Phones are extremely easy to lose and they can be compromised by worms, phishing and hacking (smartphones can be accessed through public Wi-Fi, Bluetooth capabilities, malware and other methods). Below are some of your options. Password Protection: At a minimum, you need to password protect your smartphone and all of the major players offer this. In other words, the phone can't be used without entering a password.

Encryption: Most smartphones have encryption capabilities built in and this functionality is also available via many apps which one could install on a smartphone.

Remote Wipe: This is the ability to remotely destroy all data on your phone if your phone is lost or stolen, All major cell smartphones allow for this (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile). There are also apps which will perform this function such as Lookout Mobile Security ( which works for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices.

Firewalls and Antivirus Software: Particularly if you use your phone to access the Internet or email, you should consider firewall and antivirus software. Smartphones are vulnerable to the same types of issues that can affect personal computers. Beware of Bluetooth: If you leave your phone's Bluetooth functionality turned on and "visible", it's possible for hackers to gain access to your phone without you knowing. Therefore, if you're going to leave Bluetooth turned on, you should adjust the phone settings so that it isn't visible to thers.

Backup Your Phone Often: All smartphones have some type of backup utility. Some backup options store the backed up data on your personal computer and some store it on a secure web server. Whatever options are available to you, make sure you use them.

Do you need help with security? Let us help. Click HERE to schedule a call with an Affinity Consultant.

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