The tools of the trade for lawyers have become more technical as the laws become more and more complex. But while it may not matter if you are an ambulance chaser or a full time criminal defense lawyer, anyone who studies law can use a bit of technical help from time to time.
But lawyers are a different kind of beast, one who has particular needs. If you or someone you know is a first-year lawyer or wants to become a lawyer, here are a few tech tools they might want to consider brushing up on to ensure they are the top of their class or the star of their firm.
We have all watched enough detective shows to envision the kind of person that would sit at a receptionist desk for a law firm. However, these days there often is no receptionist desk. Instead many of the smaller firms are opting for a virtual version such as those you might find using the software Ruby Receptionist. Another option is to hire a virtual receptionist who is an actual person but isn’t in your office at all.
They handle all your office calls and maybe even a bit more, through a VoIP phone system that works online. You could have an office in San Francisco and have a receptionist in the Philippines who works for far less than you would pay in your city. Regardless, these two ways to have a virtual receptionist means you can sound like a big legal office when you might in reality be a small local office.
Learn to Master PowerPoint
This ubiquitous software is the go-to tool for just about any legal firm. Whether you use it to formulate ideas or make full blown presentations in court, this is a must have. These days you can even embed video into the presentations you create on it. Since most windows computers come with it ready to rock and roll, you should be ready to use it at a moment’s notice. Best of all there are lots of great videos on YouTube that will give you extra expertise on the many features of the software system.
Online Legal Forms
While there may be several good sites for downloading the legal forms, you will need, few are as complete as FindLegalForms. Since we all know that finding and filling out all the many documents that required for the simplest of cases is back breaking, this is a big help. True, you will probably have to make some adjustments to many of them, but they are a great place to start.
There are many other tech shortcuts out there that are very useful for most lawyers. From using GoToMeeting for the many online meetings that must be scheduled, to making good use of Evernote to keep handwritten notes in the cloud there are some tools that just cry out for a home in a legal firm. These simple electronic tools can make the grunt work of the average lawyer that much easier and help to keep track of all the minute details that every case seems to generate.