A wiki can seriously improve the quality of the product you provide to your clients and can improve your quality of life whether your firm is a one man show or a twenty person outfit. But what is a wiki, why do you need one and what can it really do for you? Read more
Josh Reynolds’ Lawyerist piece last week spent a good bit of time railing against the costs associated with technology and certainly went off the technophile reservation. Unfortunately, he came off a bit like Kenny Powers bashing on Technology. A number of the post’s comments took issue either with the perceived attack on the evolution of technology past the slate and chisel and the implication that one’s competence and business acumen is somehow proven lacking by the ownership of a tablet or smart phone.
What (I think) Josh was trying to say is that you don’t need a bunch of toys to be a good lawyer. Here, he’s correct. I recently wrote about just a few of the ways you can become a good lawyer. Nowhere did I mention smart phones or data plans. Hell, I know attorneys that have been successful for 50 years who never typed anything on a typewriter, let alone a computer, and still view a fax machine with a hefty dose of skepticism and distrust. Josh was also right when he asserted that you have to keep your ability to support yourself and your dependents in mind when you are making decisions to outlay costs and that you should make your purchases with ROI in mind. In some ways, I agree with what Josh is saying. We have a tendency to focus on our own little bubble within our business and justify expenditures based on want and convenience rather than necessity and ROI. But, you can’t take it further than that. You have to spend money to make it. You should spend it wisely, but you have to spend it.
If you are in law school or thinking about going to law school (don’t!) right now, you should be thanking me. I am about to tell you how to gain a practical skill while you are in law school that you must have as a lawyer in private practice and most of your other classmates won’t learn. Law school won’t teach you this skill (no kidding!) but you will need it to be successful. A few people have it innately ingrained. Some work hard and learn to be very good at it. Some never pick it up and suffer for it their entire career. A lot of attorneys will scoff at the suggestion and deny the underlying basis of the need, but they are lying to themselves and to you.