Five Tech Helpers That Can Make An Attorney’s Life Easier
If you run a small firm, you need all the extra help you can get. You already rely on technology for a great many tasks, of course. But there is a cornucopia of programs, platforms and apps available that are standing by, awaiting your command. Some may make running your practice easier. Some might even be fun. And those that aren’t free are cheap.
Here are some notably useful technologies that can get your firm in the fast lane:
- Dropbox. Cloud computing—the cloud for short—enables attorneys to access important documents wherever they are, on whatever device (home computer, smartphone, tablet) they have on hand. One cloud platform that many law firms will find attractive is Dropbox, which allows you to easily store and share documents and files. One caveat: Dropbox has experienced hacking in the past. It’s still a useful platform, but you’ll want to keep up to date on security procedures (like passwords) before storing sensitive documents there.
- LegalBoard. The classic QWERTY keyboard layout is as old as your grandmother’s manual Smith-Corona. LegalBoard has that layout—but it also allows you to quickly switch to a platform that makes typing legal terms, symbols and footnotes easier and faster. And if your brief uses the same common terms over and over, LegalBoard speeds up those insertions, too. It could become your type of keyboard. (https://www.legalkeyboards.com)
- Echo Dot. This Amazon technology brings the online retail giant’s famed personal assistant Alexa into every part of your office. Alexa is no longer that amusing toy that your most tech-forward friends showed off a few years back. It now serves small businesses as receptionist, scheduler and information gatherer. Looking something like a hockey puck (and not much bigger), Echo Dot provides Alexa’s functionality, and it’s also is relatively cheap (about $50). And the technology keeps getting better and better.
- Adobe Spark Post. We’ve mentioned this free smartphone app and web platform before, but it bears repeating. Adobe Spark Post lets attorneys create simple, good-looking images and digital content. It won’t turn you into a professional graphic designer. But if you have more visual ability than money, Spark can give your online presence a little fire without lightening your bank account. It’s also pretty intuitive (as well as pretty). It can help you add text to photos (which can boost your social media posts) and create attractive layouts for web stories. There are even options for creating videos and stories with other Spark utilities. Check it all out at https://spark.adobe.com.
- Finally, a quick word about digitizing documents and online libraries. We suspect you are already digitizing documents and using online libraries to access information. Who has time to dig through file cabinets or rifle through law books? If you haven’t made the switch to digital storage and information access—well, what are you waiting for, an Uber driver?
As of this writing, most of the week’s tech news has been focused on refreshed iPhones and Apple Watches. The lure of shiny new gadgets is tough for many to resist. But don’t overlook the tech that’s already here and ready to help make your life as a lawyer a little easier.
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