Published: Oct. 29, 2020 By ,

In May and June 2020, the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at Colorado Law hosted a free, four-part CLE series on Legal Perspectives on Physical Distancing and Its Impact. Speakers included top attorneys from private industry, nonprofit organizations, academia, and law firms from across Colorado and the U.S.

The first two segments focused on ethics, the increased need for pro bono work, and considerations around privacy, security, and ethics in the new remote work environment resulting from COVID-19. In moderating panel one, Lynne Hanson (’88), partner at Moye White LLP, recognized the ethical responsibility that attorneys have to provide legal services to those unable to pay and the growing need for legal help in the current economic climate, particularly in the areas of housing, bankruptcy, family law, and elder law. In addition to exploring the need for pro bono work, speakers discussed its value for professional development and exploring new issues, how to seek out and explore pro bono opportunities, and avenues for people who may need pro bono assistance.

The second session covered much ground on how attorneys may need to adapt in their new work environment to continue to meet other ethical obligations, with a focus on privacy and security considerations. The session came in the wake of Bitglass’ 2020 Remote Workforce Report that found that 84% of employers wanted to continue to support greater remote work options even after the public health crisis subsides. Melanie Kay, instructor and director of the Daniels Fund Ethics Collegiate Program at Colorado Law, provided an in-depth review of the ethics rules, starting with a recognition that even in a remote environment, ethics requirements do not change. Discussions covered tools, techniques, and resources to protect individual and client privacy, and security of documents and communications.

The third part of the series delved into hiring and onboarding new attorneys and other employees remotely, covering the process of finding a job, interviewing, onboarding, and handling job cancellations. Speakers pointed out the importance of new attorneys, or those looking for a professional transition, feeling empowered to reach out to others for digital networking, as many value and welcome those connections during this time of virtual work.

Speakers emphasized employer investment in inclusion for new employees in a remote environment, including regular check-ins and mentorship. “Any efforts that, as employers, we can make to connect people to folks who may have similar backgrounds or identities . . . is really terrific so that people looking at jobs can ask, ‘What’s it like for you with this identity in that location and position?’” said Whiting Dimock (’96), senior assistant dean of students at Colorado Law.

Finally, the last session covered special needs and considerations for startups, moderated by Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurship Initiative Director and Colorado Law Associate Professor Brad Bernthal (’01). Speakers discussed the dynamic and changing environment for small businesses, and the difference in competencies among state, local, and federal government agencies in responding to different facets of the crisis.

The series kicked off Silicon Flatirons’ new emphasis on dynamic content that provides insightful and useful information that is highly relevant in the current environment. To stay up to date on upcoming developments, visit

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