It often seems like computers choose law firms rather than the other way around. Various computer technologies become a part of an office without much planning or consideration of how these tools mesh with existing law firm processes and people. The rapid pace of change and the relatively immediate obsolescence of one product in favor of another encourages a “buy first: figure out how to use later” approach, as no one wants to get left out or behind.
And computer technology that is new and unfamiliar to attorneys and law offices fuels both unrealistic expectations and irrational fears on the part of its users. The perception of the latest device or software program as a silver bullet is distracting, counterproductive, and misunderstands the proper function of computer technology as one of several tools used for problem-solving and client service.
As a result, before making a decision to purchase or expand the use of computer technology, attorneys would be well-advised to pause, consider the function that computer technology plays (or could play) in the context of a law practice, and plan how to best use that technology to deliver value to clients.