So you’re looking for a lawyer. A lawyer that’s articulate, analytical, communicative…how about tech-savvy? As a group, lawyers aren’t exactly known for their geek factor, so I’m guessing you aren’t expecting much in that department. Rare though they may be, a technocrat with a J.D. can be an invaluable asset. There are a number of reasons why technological proficiency should be on your list of lawyer non-negotiables, but here’s two for starters.
1. Lawyers who understand technology will understand the challenges you face.
No matter what business you’re in, there’s no doubt that you depend upon technology. From restaurants to retailers, no sector of the economy has gone untouched by the technological revolution of the past decade. Companies of every shape and size sell their products and services online. Many businesses rely upon cloud technologies to store and share data, while vast information is shared between multiple applications via APIs (for the non-nerds, that’s “application programming interfaces”). With all of these innovations come new legal challenges — challenges that a technically competent lawyer will be best-positioned to spot and solve. Not only that, a tech-savvy lawyer will understand how your tech-driven business ticks, and how to steer you toward your goals.
2. Lawyers who understand technology are more efficient.
Keeping handwritten time entries, hand-calendaring deadlines, creating documents entirely from scratch…it’s all well and good, but there’s a better way! For just about every task a lawyer does, there’s a technological solution out there to streamline it. Practice management software (such as our personal favorite, Clio) helps lawyers in a firm share and organize information. Document automation programs help reduce repetitive tasks involved in document drafting. Digital document review apps enable easy searching of the most voluminous document productions. Video conferencing makes it possible for a lawyer to depose someone in another state without setting foot outside the office. All of this technology has one thing in common: it makes legal work take less time, which means more money stays in the client’s pocket! Sounds like a win-win.
Hire a geek.
As a developer-turned-lawyer, one of my favorite ways to help clients is by merging my understanding of law and technology. Don’t settle for a Luddite (or a cave man?)— hire us instead!