The changes would we have seen in the last 20 years not only in the law practice but in business in general have been profound and due largely to advances in technology.
It seems like only yesterday that the newest and best was the fax machine. Next came email, SMS messaging, cloud computing, smart phones, mobile phones, iPads and tablets. We are now a connected society by virtue of 24/7 contact.
At the Baumgartner Law Firm, we have decided that if you do not keep up with technology you get left behind and for that reason pride ourselves on using the latest and greatest technology available. Often, it is difficult to make the commitment to change, the old “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” mentality, however advances in technology have increased productivity and those who do not use technology to their benefit or not as productive as others.
In the legal practice some of the technology that we find helpful are as follows:
*Dragon Dictation – Dragon Dictation is an application I use each and every day. For those who might find themselves “typing challenged” Dragon is a lifesaver. This blog article is being produced entirely by Dragon.
*Scan snap – having a personal scanner on each computer enables you to email documents immediately and respond promptly, in addition to making your files more organized. Scan snap can even take a PDF document and scan it into Word for editing.
*Internet Fax Service – there are multiple providers of excellent Internet fax services that are very effective in maximizing your time in sending and receiving faxes. We still maintain the old dedicated fax service with a landline, but eventually the Internet fax service will make the old fax completely unnecessary.
*IPad and iPad Mini – the iPad is a truly fun and productive tool, not only did is it iPad very effective for trial presentations, it is invaluable in many other ways such as reviewing and annotating documents. There are multiple very good programs for making the iPad a very productive legal tool.
*Cloud services – services such as Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive and others are very simple and inexpensive ways of keeping files that are not confidential available on any computer.
There are many other technology advances for both Apple products and the PC that make law firms much more productive from practice management solutions to apps to improve productivity.
There is no doubt that new technology requires a learning curve that scares many users away. Investing the time in implementing new technology is essential in the law practice of the 21st century.