Saturday the iPad was released. This is Apple’s equivalent of Sony releasing a 52 inch TV when the only one available was 20 inches. It’s a big iPhone with a few more features. It will not cure cancer, clean the house, get lawyers clients, or get you laid.
Still, tech geeks everywhere were hysterical. Prior to the release, bloggers were bold enough, as they always are whenever Apple farts, to say that the iPad would change the world.
It won’t. But that’s beside the point.
After it was released, techys on twitter went bonkers. It was, in a word, pathetic. I made fun of many of them, and that resulted in this post by my colleague Rick Horowitz.
All of this inspired me to finally disclose how technology works in my practice.
See, there are several folks out there that want to convince you that technology is what makes you a better lawyer.
It doesn’t. It never will.
It may make your life easier, but it will never make you a better lawyer. Sorry to blow the fallacy and bullshit that gets techy for lawyer folks credibility..
Now back to me and how technology works in my practice.
First, I have an office. A real office where I pay rent, have a reception area, a receptionist, a secretary, a conference room, and yes, even a kitchen. Note that the tech for lawyers crowd is mostly geared towards lawyers that have no office, save for an available seat at a local Starbucks with free wi-fi.
In my office is a telephone. My receptionist also has one, and so does my secretary. So do the 3 other lawyers in my office and the other support staff. This is how clients normally reach me. In a very non-techy way, my clients, mostly lawyers, law students, and alleged criminals, like to be pretty traditional and come to my office and meet with me. They’re not real big on video conferencing, email, or Starbucks.
The phone has a voice mail for after hours calls. If the client wants to press “9,” the call will transfer to my cell phone.
All messages left on my cell phone are transcribed to text and emailed to me. In turn, when I am in court, a meeting, deposition, or otherwise cannot listen to a voice mail or return a call, I can reply to the message via email or text.
My cell phone. That’s a blackberry. The latest version, 9700. Every time a new Blackberry is released, I get it immediately. I don’t blog about it, tweet hysterically about it, nor will I ever wait in line for one. I call at&t and have it sent to me. It’s all very quiet.
My Blackberry has a personal Enterprise Server for which I pay an additional $30 a month. This allows all emails, contacts, and calendar items to wireless sync with my office. It allows my receptionist and secretary to input and delete calendar items, and for me to do the same and have it appear instantaneously on everyone’s desktop and my Blackberry.
My office desktop is my laptop, and it is connected to a docking station. In the office I have two monitors – one for documents and one for the internet. Most “real lawyers” walk in my office and think that having two monitors is the most advanced thing they’ve ever seen.
All documents received in my office relating to client files are scanned into a client directory. Most other mail is thrown out, as it is largely from others who believe they can make me a better lawyer by selling me something. When I am not in the office, I can sign in to my office server from my laptop and access all of my client’s documents.
In watching the release of the iPad, I’ve heard tons about what games it has, how Kindle books are able to be read, and how Netflix movies can be downloaded. I’m sure the iPad has use for real lawyers in real situations, but the hysterics over it’s release have nothing to do with the practice of law. It’s all about the new toy, and the kids who are enamored with something new to play with.
So here’s a challenge, read this post, envision my practice, and tell me how the iPad will significantly change how I practice law.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.