‘Magic’ iPad proves popular with lawyers

Given the seemingly inescapable buzz surrounding Apple Inc.’s iPad, you probably don’t need it explained to you. It’s a tablet/slate computing device, it has a touch screen, no keyboard, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs calls it “magical.”

 

But what “magic” does it bring to a law practice?

 

Early adopters in the legal profession explain that magic in several ways.

 

“It doesn’t change the way I work,” says Toronto real estate attorney David Feld, “but it adds flexibility. It allows me to leave the office without really leaving.”

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Magic IPad


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Going paperless at the office is possible with some astute planning, determination

If a clean desk is a clean mind, what do the papers on your desk say about your mind?

 

Increasingly, lawyers answer that question by replacing piles of paper with that most prominent of paperless-office machines, the scanner.

 

While critics argue that you’ll find paperless offices when you find paperless restrooms, the misnomer hasn’t prevented people from reducing the amount of paper they use, nor from sharing their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

 

Reducing the workload

Brock Smith, a partner in Clark Wilson LLP’s Technology and IP Group, finds traditional office copier-scanners cumbersome.

 

“They’re not mouse-driven, they’re all touch-screen,” he explains.

 

But the models in his office can perform all related tasks — optical character recognition (OCR), emailing, filing and so forth — as part of the scan operation. “You only have to deal with it once,” Smith says.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Going Paperless


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Updating to Windows 7 has perks, drawbacks

After years of galling “Hi, I’m a Mac — And I’m a PC” ads, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may want to make an ad out of the following anecdote:

 

Toronto real estate lawyer David Feld updated all 8 Vista PCs in his office to Windows 7, Microsoft’s latest operating system. Seeing how well the computers ran using Windows 7, he wiped the operating system from his Apple MacBook Air and installed Windows 7 on it as well.

 

“I’ve been using Macs for the last five years,” Feld says. “I believe Windows 7 wins.” A self-professed early adopter, Feld has nothing but praise for Windows 7. “It’s not crashy,” he explains. “It’s prettier, more fun to use — I’m trying hard to not say it’s more Mac-like — and it isn’t as daunting.”

 

This is the kind of news Ballmer and company crave after Vista, the previous version of Windows, earned Microsoft widespread scorn and disappointing sales. (Praise for Windows 7 has not echoed across the Internet the way criticism of Vista did, but after Vista, the relative quiet of Windows 7’s arrival must sound like good news to Microsoft.)

 

People in the legal industry, particularly those running older XP-based machines, may want to take note of certain improvements in Windows 7.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Updating to Windows 7


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/

 

Techno-savvy law firm shares secrets for success

How do you explain the techno-savvy — the understanding of both technology and its business value — that some lawyers instinctively
bring to their practices?

 

Maybe it’s found in their upbringing. David Feld’s entire family enjoyed computers, while Sonia Kalia introduced her family to computers when she was a teenager.

 

Today, “we’re considered the technology firm,” Feld says of Feld |Kalia Barristers & Solicitors, the real estate practice he and Kalia run. “We teach people how to use computers and gadgets on the side.” They also effectively put bits and bytes to work in their business.

 

Clients see technology in use whenever they visit the office. Given the fast-paced nature of residential real estate law, where files only stay open 30 to 60 days, the pair feel they have no choice. “Technology is the most helpful tool we have,” Kalia asserts.

 

“Transparency is the name of the game,” Feld offers as an explanation of the firm’s technology choices. He starts by explaining information on the firm’s web site, pointing to the search feature on the home page that lets people find information quickly.

 

Download a .pdf version of this article here – Techno Savvy Law Firm


Luigi Benetton is a Toronto-based freelance writer, editor and trainer — visit his site at http://luigibenetton.com/