Technology has become a big part of our lives today. Smartphones, tablets and the like have completely taken over every aspect of our lives. Not even our career lives have been spared.
Legal technology, especially, has changed drastically. The age of the desktop lawyer is slowly being replaced by the new age mobile lawyer. Yes, I said the mobile lawyer.
You probably know a couple of them. You know, the ones always using fancy apps and Skype during depositions? Those whose entire cases seem to depend on their gadgets? Yes, those people.
Becoming a mobile lawyer
If you have always wondered what mobile lawyering entails, well this is for you.
So, what’s the appeal?
Maybe you are old school and wonder what all the fuss is about. Well, the emerging legal technology is very advantageous.
It enables you to have better client relationships since it significantly improves customer satisfaction. This is because it allows you to provide customers with real-time updates irrespective of where they are therefore increasing efficiency.
What’s more is that you don’t even have to leave your house. As long as you have your devices, you’re good. You can quickly receive your emails, discuss with clients and send documents. This gives you a high level of flexibility.
In fact, you can run your whole firm using your devices. Needless to say, it will save you time and money.
How to become a mobile lawyer
Well, you will first need to gather your tools. Not to worry though, there is a variety to choose from.
Mobile phones or tablets
These devices will easily let you receive emails and generate documents amongst other things. Fortunately, almost everyone has smartphones these days.
According to the ABA 2015 tech report, approximately 90% of lawyers use their smartphones for work, and this is higher than the 79% who use laptops.
It helps to note that the same report shows that the iPhone is still favored over the Android phone by lawyers. As for tablets, the iPad still trumps other tablets. It is advisable to get a virtual keyboard with your tablet to simplify document generation. Also it will help you to get into the game of freelancing.
As a mobile lawyer, you do not want to be using a desktop. You need something you can easily carry with you when rushing over to meet clients. And that, my friends, is why the laptop was invented.
There are several good models in the market today ranging from MacBooks to Chromebooks, so it really is up to you.
Printers, scanners and fax machines
There are several faxing, printing and scanning solutions to choose from in the market today. Fujitsu ScanSnap, FedEx Office, and eFax are some of the solutions available.
Wifi or internet access
This is a must have in mobile lawyering. If you decide to run your mobile law office from home, you can use your home wifi. If you choose to use an office space, you should definitely get some wifi there too.
You should however not use wifi provided in public places. Yes, not even Starbucks. This makes it very easy for someone to access the files on your device and trust me, you don’t want that happening.
Well, this is quite evident. You will need to get applications like Goodreader which will help you read your files and Skype which will help in communication. Social media law too is full of possibilities.
You will also need apps to enable you to share files seamlessly. Always remember to sync all your devices to improve the process. The use of legal apps is also readily on the rise.
In fact, according to the 2015 ABA tech report, approximately 41% of lawyers are using legal apps. You definitely don’t want to be left behind. In fact, the same report showed the top ten legal apps in 2015.
Fastcase, WestlawNext, Legal Dictionary and Lexis Advance top the list. I would suggest you get some of them if you are planning to go mobile.
Go forth and conquer
In conclusion, there are a lot of ways of getting your work done when you are a mobile lawyer. So don’t be set in your ways. Get out of your comfort zone. Success is found at the precipice of change, in this case, legal technology change.