“We have arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.” – Carl Sagan
The impact of technology on the business world cannot be overstated. Throughout history, the defining characteristic of humanity is our ability to utilize our intelligence and our tools in tandem to improve. We have rarely been satisfied to stand pat, to believe that this is the best we can do.
As a group, however, lawyers have rarely been on the cutting edge. Seldom have new methods and technology been adopted with open arms. Preferring to rest on the methods of eras past, oftentimes fearful of disruption due to “untested” tools and processes, we have been slow to adapt.
As lawyers, we are now being introduced to a concept long foreign to the industry: those who do not adapt will not survive.
Welcome to The Cyber Advocate, your survival guide!
For most attorneys, the incentive to keep to the “old ways” was built in: hourly billing structures, which emphasize being thorough over being efficient, gave most attorneys no reason to look for a faster alternative; apprentice-based learning reinforces the practices and routines of generations past; and professional conduct and ethics rules are written to address past experience, neglecting to anticipate the problems of the future.
As you may have noticed, those incentives are quickly disappearing. Competition is fierce in the legal industry. New methods of billing have turned many areas of practice upside down, and new methods of providing legal services, oftentimes without the traditional lawyer-client relationship, promise to profoundly change our industry.
Here you will find education and insight about new technology and methods to improve your law practice, focusing on three major categories: 1) reviews, updates and comparisons of new tools, technology, and software designed for lawyers or otherwise useful in the practice of law, 2) discussions of general issues important to the legal community arising out of the use or implementation of new technology, and 3) updates and analysis of ethics rules and decisions regarding the use of new technology.
I welcome feedback and comments, and I will respond to inquiries as best I can. All I ask is that comments are respectful, and that arguments be supported by evidence.
Brian Focht, The Cyber Advocate