December 2004 Issue
Technologies like e-filing have been hyped for a while, but not everyone knows all of the ways it can be used. And while handhelds are common tools in the legal field, new applications can make those devices more useful. Overall, the big trend we see is lawyers learning to use current technology to better communicate with clients, themselves and opposing counsel.
Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer who helps put together the ABA Legal Technology Show, thinks a lot of this is “client-driven.” By that he means clients will increasingly pressure lawyers and their firms to use technology to be more responsive.
“Lawyers aren’t always early adopters of technology, but increasingly you see clients demanding that their lawyers use technology that isn’t yet widespread in the legal environment,” he says. “The firms that can respond and use technology well will always stand out.”
Still, there are a few new things under the sun. Some fresh software, hardware and services can help make everything from rainmaking to brief-filing to billing a little easier, quicker, better. This is our look at the top 10 in technology for 2004.
Houston plaintiffs lawyer Mark Lanier doesn’t mince words: He throws a Christmas party every year. Call it a holiday party if you wish to be more inclusive, but it’s his Christmas party. And mindful of those old jokes about Texas braggadocio, he does it up real big.
When Brenda Matthews, a New Jersey paralegal, applied last year for a corporate position as a patent specialist, she never suspected that her credit history would be a deciding factor in whether she got the job.