Lawyers must know the benefits—and the risks—associated with the technology they use. This is according to the professional conduct model rule change adopted by the ABA in 2012. A lack of technical proficiency can leave your firm at a disadvantage. It can also be a liability for your practice.
We Don’t Know Our Own Potential
While we like to think we know the strengths and limits of our technical competencies, most of us unknowingly boast false confidence. The truth of the matter is that we’re ignorant to what we don’t know—which makes sense? how are we supposed to know what we haven’t learned yet?
The problem is that many software platforms are designed with sleek interfaces that appeal to the most common users. Take, for example, Google’s minimalist search bar. Most don’t know that Google offers a six-week training course on the platform’s advanced search functions. Similarly, Microsoft Word is not just a typewriter app; it’s actually a multifaceted word-processing ecosystem—comprised of many integrated applications that can be leveraged for greater productivity and efficiency.
Legal professionals, however, are not common users—legal research, due diligence, and e-discovery embody complicated tasks? motions, contracts, exhibits, and e-filings often require highly complex documentation.
Debunking Common TechMyths
With massive amounts of information and opinions surrounding the newest technologies, it can be difficult to identify what software and applications to purchase and how to best utilize them. Five common tech myths—upheld by industry professionals and consumers—alike, include:
MYTH 1: Technology is the answer
MYTH 2: Technology should be easy
MYTH 3: Technology is easy for other people
MYTH 4: Technology is for other people
MYTH 5: Technology training is a matter of availability or demonstration
Becoming more technologically savvy means understanding and maximizing the potential of the tools and resources you use every day—and being able to navigate the hype to prioritize what’s important to your firm. Download Developing Technological Competency as a Lawyer by Casey Flaherty to learn how you can optimize your tech stack today!