Legal technology and modern law practice go hand-in-hand. Computers, paperless offices, smartphones, and cloud computing are everyday tools of the modern lawyer. Technology makes it possible to be more efficient, more mobile, and more effective. A basic understanding of technology is also essential to representing modern clients, who are increasingly tech-savvy and price sensitive.
Legal tech is a huge subject, and there is a lot of information about it on Lawyerist. Here is an overview.
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Lawyers must provide competent representation to clients. In the digital age, competence means more than just legal knowledge, skill, and preparation. The rules of professional competence also impose an obligation to be technologically competent.
Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality
Part of technological competence is securing your clients’ information stored on your firm’s network and devices. Not just because you have to, but because your clients expect you to keep their secrets.
Most lawyers use a mix of locally installed and cloud-based software to get work done. No, you can’t avoid using “the cloud.” Yes, lawyers can use cloud-based software. No, not all cloud-based software is safe.
Software translates your professional skills into work product, enhances your productivity, prevents missed deadlines, helps you get paid, and keeps track of your money.
Software may be eating the world, but you still need hardware to run it. Lawyers have found ways to use everything from desktops and laptops to smartphones and wearables.
If you haven’t already gone paperless, you will. Plenty of law offices are already paperless, the federal courts have been paperless for years, and even state courts are converting to electronic filing and paperless case files. It is long past time to leave paper (mostly) behind.