Tips for Lawyer Travel

Depending on your practice area, you might find yourself traveling on a regular basis to meet with clients, take depositions, or argue motions in various courts across a state.

If you are constantly in motion, here are some tips to help stay prepared for the unexpected.

Cloud storage? Bring a physical backup

Cloud computing can make working in various locations a breeze, as along as you can get internet access. Another issue with cloud storage, like Dropbox, is that unless you sync up your laptop before you head out, your computer will not have the most recent files.

Just to be safe, bring a physical backup of whatever files you need. If you are just meeting with one client, stick their file on a USB thumb drive and bring it along. You might not need it, but being over prepared is never a bad thing.

Portable Power

Mobile attorneys place heavy reliance on their cell phones and smart phones. If you are driving, spend ten bucks and buy a car charger for your phone. You can also purchase a small charging device, like ZAGGsparq, that “stores” charges for your phone. If you cannot get access to power, but need to power up your phone, this will come in pretty handy.

Away message on email?

If you are truly going to be without internet access and cannot check email, setup an auto-responder. Be sure to note: (1) whether you will have email access or limited access, (2) how long you will be out of touch, and, if possible (3) who they should contact in the case of an emergency.

My personal pet peeve is getting an auto response that says “I am out of the office and will get back to you as soon as I return.” There is no need to say that you are in Aruba on your honeymoon, but include enough information to let the person know when you will be back/when they can anticipate a response.


  1. Avatar Mike says:

    Could you comment on potential problems with having your laptop drive searched by the TSA?

  2. Avatar Randall R. says:

    I have not encountered that issue (maybe they like Macs as much as I do).

    If you frequently encounter that, and you are worried about confidential client information, you could use cloud-based storage, and only access files over an internet connection. That way, nothing is on your hard drive.

  3. Sam Glover Sam G. says:

    I think the possibility of TSA searches, along with the possibility of losing your laptop, getting it stolen, or other risks, are excellent reasons to encrypt your hard drive.

  4. Avatar Susan Gainen says:

    In a perfect world, flash drives and laptops work perfectly, smart phones have ALL of their ba, and you remember to bring the car charger. Travelers face other problems, though, and I finally solved the “Black Pepper Dust Problem” with a travel size pepper mill.

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