Legal innovation is a popular topic this month, but it’s worth noting that most law offices are still weighed down by obsolete technology — or technology that ought to be obsolete, at least. Sure, we don’t use quills or mimeographs anymore, but there is a pretty good chance you still have a fax machine taking up space in your office.
Here are 5 legal technologies you can — and should — get rid of, and what to use instead.
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Still have a copier? Maybe it’s time you went paperless. Being able to scan documents and then print them when you need them is not cutting-edge technology. I went paperless 10 years ago, and I know lawyers who have been paperless longer than that. Whether or not you continue to maintain paper files after you buy a document scanner, scanning and printing is cheaper and more efficient than copying.
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Fax machines are still a mainstay in most law offices, even though they are costly, inconvenient, and low-resolution. With email, there are almost no legitimate reasons why you still need a fax machine.
But if you just cannot bear to let go of fax capability (or you have to have it, for one reason or another), you could just get an e-fax service instead, for a fraction of the cost and a whole lot more convenience.
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Any law firm more than 5 years old probably has at least one typewriter in the office, “just in case.” In case what? Well, occasionally you need to fill out pre-printed forms, and it would be unprofessional to do it by hand. A typewriter will do the trick.
Or, you could just scan the document (assuming it didn’t arrive in a fillable PDF in the first place), fire up Acrobat, add text in the right places, and send it off. By email, if you dare.
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I think it is really nice that you are employing a full-time assistant to duplicate all the effort you put into thinking things and then saying them out loud.
But you do know that both of the major operating systems come with voice recognition built in, right? So does your phone. And if you aren’t satisfied with those options, there are even more ways to turn your voice into text!
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I don’t really know how to tell you this, but Blackberry is dead. The touchscreen Z10, which was supposed to save the company, was underwhelming.
Look, have you even used an iPhone or Android phone? Because if you stopped clinging to your Blackberry for a second and tried a modern smartphone, you would see why the company is on life support.
If you are still using a Blackberry, you owe it to yourself to upgrade to an iPhone or Android phone.
You’re kidding with that 14-year-old operating system, right? Even Microsoft thinks it’s time to let go of XP.
(Same goes for you, Vista users.)
Originally published 2014-03-18. Last updated 2015-07-31.