Lawyers’ Anxiety About Technology
Law students and lawyers are generally taught that the changes to law take place slowly and as such sticking to precedents is the way forward. However, sticking to the things of the past makes members of the legal profession slow adopters of several innovations. This in turn affects the practice of law even in the presence of changes.
There are different technological innovations that have the potential of redefining the way law is practiced, but so many lawyers are nervous that these innovations will change their customary practice of law. A better approach, however, will be to see these innovations as tools that can improve the efficiency of practice and help lawyers produce better results for their clients. It is not in doubt that these innovations come with their challenges, but the exciting thing is that they also offer numerous possibilities.
Thus, as lawyers, conscious efforts should be taken to explore the possibilities provided by the technology and lawyers should also maintain openness to changes as they go about their practice.
Based on research, there are some easy says through which you as a lawyer can incorporate technology in your law practice in this age and time. They include:
1. Creation of macros for frequently performed tasks
This is truly one of the easiest ways for lawyers to enjoy the benefits of technology. However, a lot of lawyers dread it because they believe that they need a high level of understanding of computer science.
Contrary to that belief, macros can be created in minutes. The use of the macro-record tool on the Word App is the easiest way to begin utilizing this technology.
That can be done in three simple steps. The first is for you to click on the button labeled “record macro” which you can find under “View”. Then, carry out that task you frequently do. Next, stop your recording and then save so that it responds to trigger which could be a particular keystroke or a button. You have successfully created your macro. You can subsequently place your newly created macro on the toolbar or you can choose to trigger it using the keystroke when you need to perform that task.
2. Creation of Word Templates
With technology, you can set up templates for your briefs letters, memos, among other legal documents you often have to create. Usually, the Word template is a blank template and it contains no text neither does it contain any formatting. However you can customize a template and save it for future purposes. This makes it easy for you to use when you subsequently need to draft up such documents.
3. Use ActiveWords
This program basically functions as your assistant. With the right instruction, ActiveWords go into action. It is similar to creating macros but in this wise you are creating for the whole computer. You can input commands and ActiveWords will carry out that function. You can also set up commands to make things easier. ActiveWords can also sync through all your devices.
4. Use Evernote
This app is not a new innovation but it keeps adding new features that makes things easier for lawyers. It makes it possible for you to take notes, store pictures that are easily accessible and editable. Evernote uses the camera of your device to take a snapshot of what is contained on a paper and turns that into a high quality scan that you can share.
5. Use Bestlaw
This extension aids your legal research. It automatically includes features to a device browser to help streamline any results gotten from Lexis and Westlaw. It alters how the results of your query is displayed such that the information displayed can be more intuitive. It also allows users to copy titles, bluebook citations, full text and docket numbers in just a click. Also, it allows navigation between footnotes as well as the main text. Bestlaw also contains other helpful features.
6. Edit Your Writing
Grammarly is one plugin that serves as an effective grammar-check. Grammarly checks your writing for basic error including writing in passive voice, and can also highlight more complicated grammatical problems.
Another useful app is PerfectIt. It is a plugin that has very useful features for lawyers and has styles that lawyers will specifically find useful. PerfectIt contains Blacks Law Dictionary’s legal terms, the Red Book and the Bluebook. Writer’s Diet and Hemingway App are also free tools that help to check adjectives, adverbs, passive voice, among other writing errors.