After six days of hiking in Death Valley and Sequoia National Parks, I finally have internet access again. I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse, but it’s a relief to read my emails and to check voicemail. And it looks like my practice has survived. I’m thrilled to know what will be on my desk when I get back to the office. No surprises! I hate them.
The automatic reply message I’d left on my email seemed to buy me some modicum of forgiveness from my clients and other counsel. It’s amazing what a short note can do!
Even before email became my dominant communication tool, I was tethered to voicemail, checking in several times a day. But now I can check both email and correspondence seamlessly—in fact, I reviewed a week’s worth of communication today in what seemed an instant. So technology has changed many aspects of my practice. You might as well throw my office phone out the window. No one calls it. My
A decade ago lawyers never sent letters on Sunday afternoon. Now every Sunday someone files a pleading or fires off an urgent message. So there’s no such thing these days as a slow start to a Monday. The trade-off, I suppose, is a quieter Friday afternoon. So it isn’t that technology has made my practice any better or worse, it’s just that it’s changed. A few years back, I used to interview assistants, inquiring about their typing speed; we even administered a typing test. This year I adopted Dragon NaturallySpeaking after listening to my lawyer brother dictate a month’s worth of time sheets late into the night into an application on his
The following week I looked for a similar solution for my practice. I found Dragon. It’s quicker and faster for me to dictate into my computer and edit that draft than to wait for my assistant to transcribe a tape. I’ve also adopted TrialPad for trial exhibits and am easing toward using it for depositions. It certainly carries with it the hope that I no longer need to drag notebooks around on airplanes to take depositions in other states.
With these changes in mind, I can’t wait to attend this year’s ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago, from Feb. 27 to March 2, to learn what else I can do to upgrade my practice. Did you know that one of the largest groups of attendees at TECHSHOW is litigators? This year’s TECHSHOW will again provide an opportunity for litigators to gather informally at receptions and meals, and to share their professional experiences. Other groups of like-minded lawyers (solo and small-firm attorneys, professors, etc.) and nonlawyers (IT professionals, marketers, cybersecurity specialists, etc.) will also meet at meals and during receptions to exchange ideas and get to know each other. So if you haven’t booked your trip to TECHSHOW 2019, do so now. It’s bound to help you adapt to the ever-evolving practice of law. And if you’re attending and are a litigator, you’ll be hearing from me soon about our first TECHSHOW meet-and-greet.
But first, let’s consider the
I’d be remiss not to give thanks to Andrew Elowitt, who, in the Highlights column, delineates succinctly why you should attend this year’s ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago.
Heidi A. Barcus, Editor-in-Chief
Thanks to our Issue Team: Roberta L. Tepper and Mary E. Vandenack