Michigan law firms today know they need to stay up to speed on legal technology to stay relevant. For most lawyers, survival will depend upon the ability to harness technology to deliver greater value to clients.
If you’ve had your nose to the grindstone building your client base and career, then you may not have taken time to play with computers and all of the new gadgets and software programs out there. But lack of time is no longer a good excuse to neglect the new available technologies. Whether you’re a new lawyer ready to dive into legal technology tools or a skeptical veteran dipping into the world of technology for the first time, here are a few steps to get you started.
Commit time to learning.
There’s no question new technologies take time to learn. If you haven’t dedicated much time to learning these new technologies, you run the risk of becoming known as the clueless attorney who can’t turn on his own computer. That’s not a good reputation to have.
Learning technologies is a continuous process. You can’t learn it all this week and then be done with it. New technology is coming along faster than ever before. Committing a little time each week to learning and using new technologies will get you moving in the right direction.
Start where you are.
If you have an iPhone but don’t know how to use most of the features, this is a good place to start. Or maybe you’ve heard of iPads but have never touched one. It’s time to start playing and becoming more familiar with what you already have. It’s as simple as asking someone to show you how to download the New York Times app to your iPhone or show you how to access documents on an iPad.
Add simple technologies.
If you’re still using just one monitor on your desk, add a second monitor and learn how to use it. Even if you have a laptop, a second monitor can be easily added. Your productivity will increase in no time. Before you know it, you’ll wonder how you ever got anything done with just one screen.
Or learn how to use the Min-u-Script transcripts you’ve been receiving from your court reporter. Learn how to use the search feature more effectively to find portions of testimony and exhibits you need when writing your brief.
Get a LinkedIn profile. Learning social media may not seem like a priority, but you would be amazed how much business is being conducted on LinkedIn. Check it out and see what the fuss is all about.
Start familiarizing yourself with the larger technologies.
Before you can implement something new, you need to know more about it. Ask your court reporter if he or she offers streaming realtime for depositions and how you can use it to attend depositions remotely.
If you’re not using case management software yet, start reading articles online on the advantages and different features available. You don’t need to become an expert, but knowing what’s available is the first step in deciding which technologies you want to learn and use.
You can’t ignore technology. Those who ignore it will become dinosaurs and will see their practice suffer and diminish. And it’s happening faster and faster. Technology is changing so rapidly that if you don’t keep a hand in the game, before long you won’t even know what game everyone is playing. Don’t become obsolete. Start adding technologies to your toolbox today.
For more information on legal technologies, download this free report: “5 Technologies Every Attorney Must Have.”