One question we are often asked at Online Legal Software is whether attorneys’ use of the cloud and cloud-based software is allowed under current ethics rules. The answer, from every state that has addressed the issue, is YES.
As of December 2012, eleven states have issued formal advisory opinions that specifically discuss the propriety of cloud-based services that use the web and external servers for information storage, such as Online Legal Software. Several other states and the American Bar Association have addressed the issue briefly or in connection with other opinions.
To help attorneys in their decision-making, we will present these ethical opinions in turn. Even though your state may not have issued an ethical opinion, the trend seems clear: cloud-computing and online practice management systems, like Online Legal Software, are ethical and practical ways to manage your practice.