Some new lawyers, early in their careers, may find themselves in a relationship with a verbally abusive senior partner who views any newbie lawyer as an idiot. Many of us have encountered that superior being who holds the view that despite law school graduation and bar passage, a newer or young lawyer is not fit to carry coffee. The reality is that many new lawyers do not have much practical experience (but law school pedagogy may soon be changing to address this). Other lawyers not facing the problem of the senior-partner may simply be seeking to provide efficient services to clients. Tech solutions can provide inexperienced lawyers with an edge to both impress that hard-to-please senior partner and provide considerable value to clients.
Leveraging iPads and Tablets to Get Noticed
Whether a lawyer is in a large firm, mid-sized firm, or branching out on their own, they may be able to leverage what they already know to get noticed and be useful to partners and clients or to impress opposing counsel. One way of achieving this is by utilizing forward-facing technologies.
Document mastery is often mastery of the facts of a case. More document retrieval, editing, and sharing is being done mobile, on the fly. As one lawyer practicing in Seattle noted in the November 2013 edition of NWLawyer, newer and improving technologies–including tablets–are being used to, “store, categorize, and quickly retrieve documents in meetings and depositions…” As this lawyer also noted, he is increasingly noticing the ability of other lawyers to quickly and easily retrieve documents (read facts, etc.) in courtrooms, depositions, mediations, and meetings–and that he needs to be one of those lawyers.
This particular lawyer wished to learn how to do this on an iPad or other tablet device. There are software options that allow lawyers to create or edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on an iPad or other tablet device. In addition to the obvious ability of mobile devices to access limitless amounts of information online at any time, documents can also be retrieved, edited, saved, and shared in a mobile setting using software that provides solutions similar to Microsoft Word for tablets.
Leveraging the Cloud to Improve Client Services
Not only can the use of mobile devices to access documents and information give an attorney an edge for getting noticed, it can also improve the quality and efficiency of services that the firm, or solo practitioner, offers to clients.
One of the primary ways that the mobile document retrieval, editing, sharing and saving is possible is through cloud computing which is increasing in popularity. Mobile apps are being created by cloud providers that enable lawyers to access cloud services from any mobile device. A lawyer can, for instance, create a document database using a cloud service such as Dropbox or Box which will allow the document database to be quickly and easily accessed from any location with internet access. Documents and research materials can be reviewed directly from the courtroom, deposition, mediation or meeting.
A cloud account allows the office to go anywhere the lawyer goes, and creates access to documents and materials once stored only on reams of paper or hard drives in the office. Once cloud services are integrated and secured, the lawyer is off and running and will be able to more efficiently execute and provide client services. The important fact being discussed in mediation is available at the lawyer’s fingertips and will not have to await another meeting, saving time and money for everyone.
It was recently reported in NWLawyer that many potential clients are dropping out of the legal services market because of the cost of those services. Increased efficiency through technology solutions will offer greater value to clients and lead to more relevance to both a demanding partner and grateful client.