Please see our Student Tips for Working Remotely for details on our guidance and recommendations for externship and independent clinical remote work environments. Watch the Successful Remote Externships panel to hear insight from students who successfully completed remote externships during the Fall 2020 semester about making the most of your remote clinical experience.
HLS requires all students participating in clinics and student practice organizations participate in an on-line ethics training which focuses on confidentiality, conflicts, and competence. Please make sure you complete this training in a timely manner.
In addition to the topics addressed in the on-line ethics tutorial we want to highlight confidentiality in the remote environment. First, we recommend that you seek out and actively engage in any ethics training/professional responsibility training available to you from your clinic/SPO or external placement. Second, we recommend you check in with your supervisor about your ethical obligations with a particular focus on the unique aspects of confidentiality in a remote environment.
Some issues to pay particular attention to if you live in a shared space include but are not limited to:
- Find a private area in your shared space to take calls or use headphones;
- Conduct conversations (including video-conferencing) with and about clients in a way that maintains client confidentiality;
- If possible, set up a separate work area;
- Maintain a “clean desk” policy so that you are not leaving work exposed;
- Speak outside of the range of a listening device (e.g., Alexa);
- Use password protected file sharing, especially if you are working on a shared computer;
In addition to the issues raised by shared work spaces, you must understand how to do the following:
- Know your obligations concerning how to safeguard and manage high risk confidential information;
- Save and transfer electronic files while protecting confidentiality;
- Protect client or organization data by not saving it on your desktop/laptop hard drive;
- Use a computer with anti-malware software to prevent the loss or corruption of data;
- Avoid the use of public internet or free wi-fi when performing client or organization activities that involve access to or transmission of confidential or sensitive data, unless you are connecting over VPN;
- Use strong passwords to protect your data and devices;
- Use VDIClinics virtual desktop or have your personal device encrypted and certified;
- Protect Level 4 security information by not sharing it over the phone, voicemail, text, and email -use HLS Secure and Large File Transfer instead;
- Shred waste paper that contains any confidential client information;
- Review some of the relevant articles related to technology and legal ethics; e.g.,
- Stacey A.L. Best, Assistant Bar Counsel, Lawyers in Crisis: Ethical Guidance for Remote Work and Dealing with COVID 19
- Heather LaVigne, Assistant Bar Counsel, From Technophobe to Technolawyer: A Lawyer’s Duties Related to Technology Competence and Prevention of Inadvertent Disclosure