Personal injury attorneys come in many shapes, sizes and forms. They hail from solo offices, to large firms, to “mills,” and the list goes on. One commonality with California injury lawyers, is that we all must endure Case Management Conferences, Court Ordered Mediation, Delay Reduction rules, and so on and so forth.
Any edge or advantage to help a lawyer be in two places at once is always appreciated. In this piece we explore how the modern attorney cuts corners and shaves time with using practical technology.
Meeting Today’s Workplace with Yesterday’s Training
Many attorneys are working on borrowed time. Between different meetings, obligations, and family life there is precious little time to be spent elsewhere. The recent advancements in technology has increased the average attorney’s productivity tremendously. Finding legal precedent in antiquated documents has become much easy with the ability to “control-f” and documents rarely get lost now that email is so pervasive.
Regardless, there is a balancing act at play for many attorneys. With the exception of the very youngest just passing the bar, many have predicated their research ability and traditional view of an office on old fashioned training. The idea of a physical office has changed, as has the ability to reach clients in different manners. Looking up and storing information has become significantly easier, as have various parts of the trade. Social media attracts many more followers than an old ad on the back of a phone book ever did.
With the balance of the sweat equity of past practice and today’s rapidly changing technology, there is a place for both in an attorney’s office. Balancing a full bookcase of case precedent with a smartphone is easier than ever, much to the advantage of a skilled attorney.
Keep the Office in Your Pocket
Even in today’s world, a physical office is a major factor to success. However, when out on calls, at home, or on recess in court, you now have access to an office in your pocket. A smartphone makes a tremendous difference, allowing not only the ease of calling anywhere in the country anywhere but ancillary features. You’ll never miss an email while you’re in range and you can pull up a .pdf file of a contract you signed three years ago stashed away on your phone’s hard drive. Texting allows for rapid fire sending of information and another tool that is more in line with the habits of younger clients.
What the Heck is a “Phablet?”
The creation of tablets and mid-size “phablets” also make such changes simple for the quick pull up of information in the office or in court. Send a fax through the tablet or scribble notes or reminders for later. An iPad can allow you to impress at crucial points with PowerPoint presentations and a projector. Most other attorneys and paralegals have already embraced the changes– don’t allow yourself to fall behind.
Such changes also allow a legal professional to do work immediately and not have to worry about missing something later. Between a recorder on smartphones and tablets and word processing software, it is easier than ever to change an outmoded contract while meeting with a client. No need for that red pen anymore for notes that you may forget the original intent of.
Your phones, laptops, and tablets will all have plenty of hard drive space to make your life easier. However, if you switch quickly between devices you will likely use cloud services. There are some exquisite inexpensive and secure platforms to use. Often attorneys and other professionals find advantages in Dropbox and Google Drive. The latter is especially the case if you have Gmail and/or Google+.
Free Google Type Services to the Rescue
Other services, including Google Voice, allow you quick access to data. You can hear emails on the phone or see voicemail messages pop up in texts or emails. They’re always at your fingertips, even if you are on the other line but still need to see if your 1 o’clock is going to be late.
Making sure that you are ahead of the curve is not an easy task– but it can make your life easier as you adapt to tomorrow’s technology. You just learned how modern lawyers can save time by use of available technology. Don’t let it pass you buy and have your city’s rival personal injury firm get a case because they could get their email via voice message. Be the leader!