Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 23

MARGARET "MEG" MCKINNEY
Family Law Firm Founder

Family law attorney Margaret "Meg" McKinney agrees that technology has
upended the practice of law - to the benefit of both attorneys and clients.
Email, word processors, ease of access to data, and remote work have certainly
transformed how attorneys like McKinney work, simplifying many previously
time-consuming tasks.
For McKinney, this is a welcome change from her early days as an attorney
when everything was paper-based. "Technology can be a great partner in litigation," McKinney says. "I feel like there are so many more ways to do things now."
McKinney began practicing law in 1992, and in 2003 she cofounded Delaney
McKinney, a family law firm that now has 11 attorneys. McKinney has served as
cochair of the D.C. Bar Family Law Task Force and was on the D.C. Bar Pro Bono
Committee from 2008 to 2014.
McKinney says attorneys not only have to utilize technology but also understand how to effectively leverage it in their case work. "Tech can be a great help
and a benefit, but it can be abused. People can snoop on their spouses, record
phone calls, and do things we couldn't do 10 years ago," says McKinney. "So, we
have to figure out how we can protect our clients from the other side, but also
from themselves."
The informal and instantaneous nature of online communication certainly
poses some ethical concerns for attorneys, McKinney says. It also makes it
harder for attorneys these days to set boundaries and maintain a healthy work-
life balance.
"If you have a tendency to overwork, technology can definitely facilitate it,"
McKinney adds.
As more and more elements of legal work are being automated, will artificial intelligence (AI) eventually put lawyers out of business? Not quite, McKinney says.

While she believes AI has
the potential to disrupt
some areas of the law,
McKinney says it will not
totally replace lawyers.
That said, figuring out
how to best leverage AI
without making attorneys
irrelevant will be something lawyers and the D.C.
Bar need to address going
forward.
A concern that McKinney
believes needs greater
attention is how to
sustain small and
medium firms when the
founding attorneys retire.
This is an area where
many firms don't have a
plan, and McKinney says
the Bar could provide
a lot of assistance.
"A large challenge is
becoming a multigenerational law firm. We're a two-founder firm, and a big question is how do we
successfully transition this firm when we retire, and have it continue on into the
future," McKinney says. "A lot of family law firms have broken up and ended
when their founders retired, and you lose a big knowledge base there. There's
not enough support for attorneys dealing with these issues."

D.C. BAR MEMBERSHIP SNAPSHOT
GENDER PROPORTION
Male | Female

Gen Xers are more likely to be

engaged in corporate practice than
any other generation (12%)
Millennials are more likely to go

into firm practice than any other
generation (36%)

B

X

36%

39%

S

85% 15%

B

Sole practice and other industries
are more likely to increase among
baby boomers and older generations

Baby Boomers
1946-1964
67% 33%

5%

Source: Membership Record as of 5/29/2019
(Excludes Retired Inactive Members)

Silent &/or Matures
1945 & earlier

S

X

M

Generation X
1965-1980
57% 43%

20%

M

Millennials
1981-1996
51% 49%

Courtesy of Jamie Kim, D.C. Bar Data Analytics Specialist

*

JULY/AUGUST 2019

*

WASHINGTON LAWYER 23


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Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Bar Business: Annual Report
Member Spotlight
Enforcing the Rules feature
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Attorney Briefs
Ask The Ethics Experts
Disciplinary Summaries
The Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 7
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 9
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Leading The Bar In Pursuit Of Service
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 2019 D.C. Bar Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Our Membership: Adapting To A Changing Legal Landscape
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Enforcing the Rules feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 22
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Finding Community In Voluntary Bars
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Bar Business: Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 32
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 37
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Ask The Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 48
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - 51
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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