By LE Desk

April 29: Lawyers, paralegals, and legal support team members have a new set of legal tech skills to master in order to meet the accelerated demands law firms face since the onset of COVID-19.  To help legal professionals get up to speed, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University is introducing its six-week Legal Tech Skills Certificate program.

“Although lawyers have always needed to stay abreast of the latest in technology, the pandemic has only heightened the need for every legal professional to be trained in basic tech skills,” Judge Gail Prudenti, dean of Hofstra Law, said in a statement.

“More work is being done remotely, and clients are no less demanding. Lawyers need to know how to leverage the technology they use every day to improve productivity and deliver superior client service,” she added.

The new tech skills program covers Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat.  Participants learn to properly create, format, index, hyperlink and bookmark documents including wills, contracts, pleadings, motion papers and trial memoranda, Long Island Business News reported.

To earn the certificate, participants learn to manage e-mails more efficiently, effectively and securely. They learn to redact, OCR, and Bates stamp documents. And they learn to comply with certain e-filing requirements. In addition, they learn to manipulate and work with spreadsheets and presentations to improve the services they offer to their clients.

Each course includes one virtual 2-hour live session, step-by-step recorded instructions for accomplishing key tasks, and a tip sheet for each program. Participants will receive a certificate for completing all six classes, and will have the option of registering for individual classes.

The courses are taught by John Tsiforas, the director of Law & Technology and the director of the law school’s Law, Logic & Technology Research Laboratory, which was launched in 2010.

“The skills taught in this course will empower lawyers at any stage of their careers to take control of their documents and to understand how to proactively use technology,” Tsiforas said in a statement. “These are skills lawyers will use every single day. Understanding how these tools work will help them to work smarter and produce a better product for their clients.”

The new certificate program is part of Hofstra Law’s effort to expand programming in the area of legal technology. Expanded offerings now include courses in cybersecurity, cryptocurrency and courtroom technology.  The law school has already  been recognized by the American Bar Association as a Top 10 School for Teaching the Technology of Practice.

The new six-week certificate program begins virtually on May 20.

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