Archive for August, 2011


Technology and the Law

Author: Debra Baker
August 12, 2011

The International Legal Technology Association annual conference is just two weeks away. I love the show because I always learn about new and innovate ways to leverage technology to improve the practice of law.

It seems by now that discussions of technology and the law should be old news but it is amazing the number of lawyers who are still resistant to technological changes that will make their lives easier.

As an example, I received a call last week from a good friend who is a solo practitioner. She was incredibly frustrated at her computer networking system — everything from the cost of maintaining a server for four work stations to her inability to create PDFs on the fly and organize her Outlook folders. She was so overwhelmed by the thought of having to change to improved technology that she failed to see how many hours she was losing because her current setup didn’t work for her.

She had finally reached her tipping point.

After an initial evaluation of her current technology related costs and the cost of moving to a new system, she realized that for an up front investment of less than $1000, she will be able to save close to 75% in monthly fees compared to her current setup. What’s more, she will be able to work more efficiently and effectively. Although we are still doing due diligence, conservative estimates right now put her savings at about $4,000 per year.

But it isn’t just the hard cost savings. If we set her up right, she will save hours of unbillable time a week. This will let her focus more time on clients or get out of the office to develop new business. God forbid, she might even choose to save some of that extra time for herself.

This is not a circumstances that impacts solos and small firms alone. So many large firms are wedded to costly and cumbersome infrastructure that contributes to inefficiency and frustration. It is hard to come to a consensus on when, how much and what to invest in. But until they do, the cost of doing business with lawyers is going to remain high.

I’ll keep you up to date on how my current project progresses. If others out there are going through similar processes, I’d love to hear more…