Meet Catherine Sanders Reach, CBA Director of Law Practice Management & TechnologyMay 20, 2015
By Meg Benson, Co-Chair of the CBF Legal Aid Academy Advisory Committee
Catherine Sanders Reach wants attorneys to know that no matter how proficient they are with today’s technology, there is always more to learn. Technology makes our work easier, more efficient, more productive and, often, more fun.
Director of Law Practice Management & Technology for the Chicago Bar Association, Catherine’s words of wisdom come from experience. Her first job out of the University of Alabama with her master’s of library and information studies in hand, was as a law firm librarian. The late 90’s were a heady time for her profession as information moved from print to digital. Librarians, lawyers and the producers of research materials were all learning how to accommodate this new format as print materials migrated from simple books online to sophisticated web-based products. Attorneys needed help transitioning from sitting in a library in front of a stack of books, to finding key words for online research and navigating multiple screens.
Fully engaged in the new media, Catherine joined the ABA as a research specialist, eventually becoming director of its legal technology resource center. Speaking at solo and small firm conferences, she guided attorneys through the technological transition. At the same time, she became an expert in the type of training attorneys need to become tech-proficient and the best available resources.
In 2012 the CBA snapped her up to head up its new Law Practice Management and Technology department. In addition to presenting CLE and non-CLE programming throughout the year, Catherine provides consulting and customized trainings for CBA members and their law firms.
Catherine is also working with the CBF’s socially conscious Justice Entrepreneurs Project. Every six months, she introduces specialized technological training to these newer attorneys starting their small and solo practices to serve low and moderate income clients. She teaches them how to use technology for case and practice management and budgeting. She discusses the ethical use of and security issues with technology. She teaches them to back up their information and how to go paperless. With Catherine’s training, these young attorneys learn how to establish and maintain cost-effective law practices which makes their business model of serving lower income clients economically feasible.
Every attorney, whether in legal aid, a small firm or BigLaw, can benefit from Catherine’s knowledge. Because, no matter how proficient you are with today’s technology, there is always more to learn. Let Catherine teach you.