Practicing Law in the Techno Age

Technology has made the practice of law vastly different from that practiced a generation ago. The changes first emerge in law school, which is also radically different from that of a couple of decades ago. Perhaps you remember the agony of Timothy Bottoms, the beleaguered student of the film classic, The Paper Chase.  He would scratch out summaries of cases on yellow legal pads, and the papers would overflow his worn folders like an overstuffed taco.  Bottoms, with his fashionable 70’s mutton chop sideburns, carefully guarded these summaries and shared them only with his study group.  These cases were painstakingly extracted from volumes in the law library.

Today’s student need go no further than his I Pad, I phone, lap top or his soon to be obsolete desk top computer.  These days many students would need a map to even find the law library.  Actually, this state’s two law schools do have high tech libraries, with internet access, with direct links to a service which can find any case or statute.  In the age of the Paper Chase, multiple books were often towed to class via backpacks or briefcases on wheels.  Now most law volumes can be found on a disk, which can be plugged into the lap top.

The brave new techno world has also revolutionized the practice of law.  Lawyers communicate and plead by way of fax machines, emails, texts, and scans. Electronic pleading is almost universal.  Archaic is the practice of a letter, phone call or face to face meetings.  It is easier now to practice law.  But it isn’t necessarily better. We, at Parker, Pallett, Slezak & Russell, use all the new technology, but we still cherish the personal aspect of practicing law.  We are vigilantly accessible to our clients. And we relish those virtues of the soul that have never changed, namely, honesty, honor, fairness and firmness of purpose.  Those are our best resources for fighting for our clients.

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