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« Associate Advice: Start Early on Client Development, Stay Late at the Office | ABA Journal - Law News Now | Main | Because you never know...: Speck of Light »

June 24, 2008

Comments

Chuck Newton

Back in ancient times - 1995. I like tech. Having been born in 1958, this makes me feel old. When my wife and I were in law school STCL had just installed new high speed copy machines so we could copy from the books all of the cases we needed to use for research. I was high tech in drafting because I had an old CPT word processor and I used an old Brother dot matrix typewriter in class. I kept it in my lap under the table and typed out notes. We thought my wife's father, who is a lawyer, was crazy because they were just then trying to phase out of using pre-printed forms and using carbon paper (some still called it "carbonic paper"). Other than the one big firm in town in 1986, my office installed the first fax machine. I bought two. Tried to sell one to my banker and he said, "what on earth do I need with something like that". In 1987 I had a capias issued for my arrest for sending a motion for a continuance by fax to a store next to the Courthouse and requesting they file it because of we were trapped in another town by an ice storm. The Court in Lufkin TX had never heard of a fax and thought I was bing disrespectful. The Judge reasoned that if I could have a motion filed, then I could have "damn well have shown up".

David Leffler

Thanks for the mention of my column.

I always wonder what the next big thing will be in technology use for lawyers. In my 2005 column I think I called it pretty well when I said broadband would be a must have in the coming years.

So what will be the big thing for solo and small firm attorneys 3 years from now? Perhaps greater use of online collaboration tools.

Lisa Solomon

What a great article! Thanks for pointing to it.

Not only has the internet revolutionized the practice of law for solos, it has helped to foster the growth of a whole new practice area: contract lawyering.

I’ve been in the field of outsourced legal research and writing since its infancy. When I started my practice twelve years ago, a lot of lawyers didn’t even use e-mail: I had to drag some of my clients, kicking and screaming, into the internet age. Although I could do legal research online, my dial-up connection was painfully slow. But the most difficult challenge to overcome was lawyers’ unfamiliarity with the idea of outsourcing research and writing work to a contract attorney.

Today, all that has changed. E-mail use is well-nigh universal among lawyers. High-speed internet connections make online legal research a breeze. And, most importantly, lawyers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of using contract attorneys to perform discrete tasks, whether the task is making a court appearance, defending a deposition, or researching and writing a brief.

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