General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionMagazine

Volume 17, Number 4
June 2000

E-mail at Long Last

BY Sharon C. Stevens

I was speaking to another ABA entity last fall about our Section. Concluding my remarks, I gave the audience my e-mail address and invited questions and/or comments regarding the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division. Only other Section officers present recognized what a momentous occasion that represented: Sharon finally has e-mail.

As you have probably already guessed, I did not embrace technology early or easily. I will full well confess that I am only a notch above being technologically illiterate. Oh sure, I do most of my own documents, and I can do envelopes, but captions and footers in pleadings still defeat me and my legal assistant frequently has to rescue me when I inadvertently hit the wrong key or my PC is "fighting me." I resisted the Internet and e-mail. I was definitely intrigued and I wanted access to the world of information available on the Internet. I certainly recognized the facility of communicating via e-mail. But for the techno-retard, the Internet was a scary place to go.

One can imagine the frustration of my ABA friends, other Section officers and leaders, and our Section staff who were required to fax everything to my office. I can assure you that there was real celebration the day I got e-mail. I had just become Section chair and there was no one more joyous than our Section director, who was the recipient of my first-ever e-mail.

I love GPSolo's special Technology & Practice Guide issues. I am the reader for whom TPG was designed-at least one of the readers. When the concept for TPG was being developed, the Section wanted to meet the needs of our members. We already knew from membership surveys that one of the areas about which our members wanted more information was technology. Since the technology expertise among our members was as diverse as our members themselves, we wanted a technology magazine that would fulfill everyone's technology information needs, regardless of the reader's technological capabilities. Our editors strive to achieve a balance in TPG so that it contains not only information sufficiently "technical" to satisfy the most sophisticated of our readers, but also information that even the technologically challenged can read and understand.

From my own experience and judging from the comments the Section receives regarding TPG, it appears that we have achieved our goal. While I would never seriously try to read ________________ (insert name of some seriously technical technology magazine), I read TPG from cover to cover. Yes, I do understand much of the content, and I find those features that are beyond my expertise, well, "interesting." However, I share TPG with my computer consultant, Kelly, who periodically comes to my office when my computer crashes, and Kelly thinks its "great." That is what we wanted. Of course, we will continue to need comments and contributions from you, our readers, to keep us on track.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Technology and Practice Guide and find information that will work for you in your practice. Let us know what you think. By the way, I can be reached at

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