The major areas to assess:
1) Calendaring – Are you easily and successfully keeping track of your appointments, and making it to all appearances using the methodology you are using? If so, additional technology is unneeded in this area. If not, this is an area where you could use technological assistance.
2) Video conferencing – Are you easily and successfully able to use Zoom and other video modalities to conduct depositions and court appearances? Can witnesses hear you, without recurrent microphone problems or freezing? If so, additional technology is not needed in this area. If not, obviously new equipment may be in order.
3) Redaction, signatures, and secure documents – Are you easily and successfully able to electronically redact documents, provide remote electronic signatures and electronically secure documents? If not, obtaining technology to assist in this area would be beneficial.
4) Client records, bookkeeping and accounting – Are you easily able to track client files and financial records? Do you have an efficient and functioning system for both business accounting, and accounting for and reconciling client funds? If not, this is another area where technology could be useful.
5) Conflict assessment – Are you easily and successfully able to determine whether you have had prior dealings with a party such that there may be a conflict of interest that needs to be addressed? If you don’t have a system to allow for this type of assessment, this is an area where technology can be very useful.
6) Filing – Are you easily and successfully able to assess all past and current client files dating back at least 7 years? If not, this could be an ethical problem if the client or grievance committee requests information on a file, thus, having electronic files as well as paper files can be beneficial.
7) Phone, fax, and email messages – Are you able to promptly receive urgent phone, fax, and email messages when you are away from your desk? For attorneys with office staff this may seem unnecessary, but solo practitioners routinely struggle to keep from being buried under emails or unreturned phone calls. The advent of virtual offices and virtual office assistants or answering services is another area of technology that can be beneficial if this is something your office struggles with.
Suffice it to say – if there is a problem you are facing, there is probably some form of technology that can help with it. A solution-oriented quest for technology ensures that whatever you are purchasing is actually needed and will be used. Impulse buying overly complicated technology, on the other hand, is a waste of money.