Slaw.ca Technology Column

I wrote a bi-monthly colum on law practice technology – or, to be more honest, technology that lawyers might use that ALSO interested me – from September 2009 to July 2016 on SLAW.ca.  Here is an archive of the articles I posted.

Small Changes Can Make Big Difference

Small Changes Can Make Big Difference

[This post first appeared on Slaw.ca, July 4, 2016 ] Lawyers practice in a world where technology comes in smaller pieces that are increasingly integrated. Like David Weinberger’s Small Pieces, Loosely Joined , some of the best ways to benefit from t...
De-Automate Your Destruction

De-Automate Your Destruction

[Originally published on Slaw.ca, May 2d, 2016] An Internet connection can automate damage to your law practice and reputation. A lawyer can’t practice without the Internet but there are ways to reduce the opportunities to be attacked. There are c...
Macros and Micro Automation

Macros and Micro Automation

[Originally published on Slaw.ca, March 2d, 2016 ] Law practice technology comes in a variety of sizes. Either the lawyer adapts to the technology or adapts it to her needs. We often look at the systems that lawyers use to improve client service...

Lawyers Uneducated About Technology

[This article originally appeared in the Florida Bar Journal , January 2016 and is in response to a specific question posed to me, and using data from Florida.  Slight changes have been made to convert from print to online format. ] The biggest technology ...
Encrypt or Lose

Encrypt or Lose

[This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca, October 22, 2015 ] We all want to be the reasonable person. It’s a figment of the legal imagination but it’s a nice middle ground. Lawyers can protect their client confidential and private information usi...
Wade into Windows 10

Wade into Windows 10

[Originally published on Slaw.ca , August 25, 2015] The latest Windows operating system has started rolling out. Unsurprisingly, reactions to its new update method and privacy functions are mixed. If you were on Windows 7 like most lawyers, it will...
Two Factor Belt and Suspenders

Two Factor Belt and Suspenders

Weak passwords are out. Strong passwords are in but may not be enough to protect you. When you use dual or two factor authentication , you add a hurdle to those attempting to get unauthorized access to your law practice information. It doesn’t involve y...
One Search to Rule Them All

One Search to Rule Them All

[This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca, May 1, 2015 ] Lawyers need to find information, the faster the better. As the years go by, your electronic files expand and your ability to retrieve information quickly can suffer. I’ve already looked at d...
Drink from the Garden Hose

Drink from the Garden Hose

[Originally published at Slaw.ca , February 26, 2015] Social media is a coursing flow of data and information. Twitter’s own output is known as the firehose for obvious reasons. You can tap into that volume to monitor an event or person, making t...

Browse in the Clear

[This article originally appeared on Slaw.ca, January 21, 2015 ] The Web browser has become a fundamental law practice tool. It’s what you use to get to Google’s web search, and perhaps your Web-based e-mail system, or your cloud-based practice man...

E-mail and the Lawyer

[This post originally appeared at Slaw.ca on November 17, 2014] E-mail is dead. Social media and instant messaging (IM) are replacing e-mail. Those are the messages of emerging communications driven by so-called enterprise technology. These tools,...
Take Good Notes

Take Good Notes

[This post originally appeared at Slaw.ca on September 9, 2014] Tablets are for information consumption. Voice options may be changing that a bit – for example, if you need help on where to bury a body – but it is challenging to create with a bar...

Where Are Your Encryption Keys?

[This post originally appeared at Slaw.ca on June 25, 2014] Businesses that do not encrypt their information risk losing it. Legal professionals risk private and confidential client information when they do not take steps to secure it properly. Your...
Your Passwords S****

Your Passwords S****

[This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca on March 18, 2014] One of the most significant threats to client confidential and private information in law firms is bad passwords. Unless lawyers and paralegals are substantially different from the general...
Search You

Search You

[This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca , May 15, 2014] Lawyers want to find information quickly. I often hearken back to now-increasingly dated LexisNexis workplace productivity surveys – 2008 and 2010 – for data on this need. Desktop search per...

Be More Open on Your Android

[This article originally appeared on Slaw.ca , January 16, 2014] Google’s Android operating system is open source. The rest of the software on your Android tablet or smart phone may be a mixture of commercial, freemium, and other business models, i...

Keep Your Marbles

[ This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca , November 12, 2013 ] Law firms are spoiled for choice when it comes to cloud computing services. You can place any or all of your practice technology somewhere other than your office. The maturing of...

Fit to Print

[This post originally appeared at Slaw.ca, September 9, 2013 ] Mobile technology offers opportunities to be more efficient. One area that has seen a lot of improvement is mobile printing. I’m not thinking about taking a portable printer with you, b...

Status Seekers

[This post originally appeared on Slaw.ca, April 18, 2013 ] Lawyers rely on an invisible infrastructure to power their law firms. Once those wires leave your computer and hit the wall, you cede control to others. Even if you haven’t shifted any p...

Know Thyself

[This post first appeared on Slaw.ca, June 20, 2013 ] Your reputation is how other people see you. What we do frames that perception so we should act professionally and positively. At the end of the day, we can’t make people think well of us. T...

Self-Preservation

[Originally appeared on Slaw.ca, February 28, 2013 ] We leave a trail of footprints across the Web that can seem ephemeral. Content on law firm Web sites changes, status updates to LinkedIn  or Twitter fade, with new content taking the place of t...
Capture and Show With Your Tablet

Capture and Show With Your Tablet

[Originally posted at Slaw.ca on January 9, 2013 ] Tablets are becoming a commonly discussed, if not applied, technology in law practice. 33% of respondents to the American Bar Association's 2012 Legal Technology Survey used tablets for work. Or,...
Add a VPN to Your Mobile Lawyer Toolkit

Add a VPN to Your Mobile Lawyer Toolkit

[Originally published on Slaw.ca, October 25, 2012 ] Mobile devices provide lawyers with increased opportunities to unwittingly share confidential or private client information. One of the more common scenarios is when a lawyer or law firm staff...

Drop the Hard Drive, Take the Laptop

[This article first appeared on the Slaw.ca collaborative blog on September 12, 2012 ] Lawyers who work on international matters may face the challenge of taking their client information across borders. In fact, any lawyer using a laptop may find herself...
How to Auto-Archive Client E-Mail in the Cloud

How to Auto-Archive Client E-Mail in the Cloud

[Originally published on Slaw.ca on June 20, 2012 ] A perennial challenge for lawyers is managing client communication. E-mail remains a cornerstone of lawyer interaction with clients and colleagues but it requires constant tending. You can use cloud-based...

Any Smartphone in a Storm

[This article first appeared on the Slaw.ca collaborative blog on May 11, 2012 .] There is no perfect smartphone for lawyers. In fact, the most important part of the smart phone is probably the phone part, since it enables you to keep in contact with...
The Myth of Due Diligence

The Myth of Due Diligence

[Originally published on the Slaw.ca collaborative blog , March 7, 2012] Lawyers have not adequately met the vague notion of due diligence when it comes to legal technology, probably because they are unable to. This realization hit me at a CLE seminar ...
Speak Your Mind

Speak Your Mind

[Originally appeared on Slaw.ca , December 29, 2011] Voice recognition has been getting lots of press recently, thanks to the release of theSiri software  with the latest Apple iPhones. It has been a mainstay of discussions around legal technology ...
The Cloud Can Extend, Not Just Replace, Law Practice Technology

The Cloud Can Extend, Not Just Replace, Law Practice Technology

[Originally posted on Slaw.ca , November 7, 2011 ] Cloud computing is often portrayed as an online-only world that enables a high degree of collaboration for lawyers. Here’s a reality check. That is not how many, perhaps most, lawyers practice a...
Holier than Thou

Holier than Thou

[Originally posted at Slaw.ca on September 9, 2011] We talk about connecting to the Internet, a pipe through which travels all of the information flowing into or out of the law practice. It is not that simple, though, and that oversimplification...

Don't Brick Your Practice

[originally posted on Slaw.ca , July 4, 2011] The term “brick” in computer parlance means to turn an otherwise usable computer into a useless piece of silicon and plastic . As a careful lawyer, you are already planning for disaster by performing regu...

Do We Still Need E-mail?

[originally posted at Slaw.ca , November 16, 2009] The issue of e-mail management is now old hat for anyone involved in the practice of law. Rather than asking whether lawyers use it, it is a story when lawyers choose not to use it. The world has grown...

Open Source Your OS

[originally posted at Slaw.ca , March 15, 2010] Lawyers are asking the wrong question when they wonder whether to upgrade their operating system (OS) to Microsoft Windows 7 or stay at Windows XP or Vista. If you’re upgrading, the question should be w...

Be More Productive with Enhanced Windows Experience

[originally posted at Slaw.ca , July 14, 2010] I enjoy the regular updates on interesting work environments posted by LifeHacker.com , where you can see all manner of screen and desk layouts, often with multiple monitors (even 6 !) for enhanced productivity ....

My Computer is a Hamster

[originally posted at Slaw.ca , November 8, 2010] My computer will never be the same again. If you click on any program and select the About option (often on the Help menu), you can see what version of the program you have. Google Chrome tells me I’m a...

Cumulo-Nimble: File Storage in the Cloud

[originally posted at Slaw.ca December 22, 2010] My quest for better file access started with a nagging suspicion that my shrinking storage containers would be my downfall. I went mobile with a laptop, which was smaller than my desktop and was portable....

These Are the Droid Apps You're Looking For

[originally posted at Slaw.ca , March 16, 2011] Android-powered phones and tablets are an increasingly prevalent option for lawyers. Android was the operating system on one-third of the smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2010 , according to ...

The Core of Legal Technology

[originally posted at Slaw.ca on May 12, 2011] Law firm technology is experiencing pressure brought about by the success of consumer-oriented products. As the wave of iPad-toting lawyers begins to wash into the larger law firms, we’re seeing the l...

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