Simple Tech Improvements for Lawyers

Last week I wrote about three easy new year’s resolutions for attorneys. Two of the resolutions were technological—starting a blog and going paperless.

If you are looking to make even more improvements in the technology department, here are a couple more easy ideas.

Upgrade your browser

The bad news is that Netscape and Internet Explorer do not cut it. The good news is that the alternatives are free. If you use a PC, try Google Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. If you use a Mac, I still prefer Safari over the alternatives.

Older browser are not as secure—which should be enough motivation for switching. In addition to being more secure, newer browsers work better and run faster. When time is money, a faster internet browser makes a difference.

Lastly, Firefox and Chrome sync bookmarks, which makes it easier to work out of the office.

Get a new monitor

If you still have cube shaped monitor taking up half your desk, get rid of it. Those old school monitors take up too much space and pale in comparison to flat screen monitors. Many newer monitors also have hidden features designed to reduce the strain on your eyes.

Flat screen monitors are cheaper than you might imagine—you should be able to get one for under $200.

Float into the clouds

There are plenty of debates about cloud computing in the Lawyerist archives. Once you decide to take the leap, there are two main advantages: file backup and the ability to work remotely.

As an attorney, having backup files is critical. If you keep paper files and your office burns down, what next? Being an attorney is stressful enough without worrying about that scenario.

Working remotely does not mean you have to work in a coffee shop everyday. For many attorneys (including myself), the advantage is that you can work from home when necessary. For example, when you realize you need to make changes to a brief at 9 pm. Instead of driving to the office, fire up your laptop, pull up the file, and make your changes.

Randall Ryder
Randall Ryder is the Director of Appellate Advocacy & Lecturer in Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

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