Husband, Father, Gamer, Geek, Master of Ceremonies, eLawyer, Entrepreneur, Christ-Follower, Backup Public Address Announcer for the Springfield Cardinals, 4th Degree Taekwondo Black Belt & Local Radio Personality.
So, those of you that know me, KNOW that I love to use technology when every I can. Embarassingly enough, I kind of remind myself of Kip's wedding song . . .
Anyway, people do ask me from time to time what I'm using - what works - what doesn't. It's not uncommon for someone to hand me a smartphone or an iPad to get working for them on the fly -- and I'm happy to help.
So, I thought since I've found some things that I'm TOTALLY LOVING for use in my law practice, I should share. The key here is, whereas people, lawyers and companies have been talking about being "paperless" for years now, it's not really been, well, REAL. You could do some things without paper. Email has been a big help. But you couldn't do EVERYTHING without paper (and you still can't, the vast majority of courts still require paper filing). You couldn't really do everything without paper even internally. We've been able to pull it off pretty well with our traffic ticket practice --www.MissouriTrafficTickets.com over the years, but we still generate a lot of paper, even if it is just to fax, scan and shred.
But now I've been using a combination of devices and services that have my Criminal Defense Practice running mostly paperless. Here's the breakdown:
MyCase - MyCase is a web-based practice management solution that let's everyone on your team access, leave messages, upload and download files & keep track of important dates. Lawyer, Staff, Client, Co-Counsel & Expert all can have a login to participate in the case. Automatically notifies relevant folks when there is an update to their case and the calendar is subscription based so you can push dates to your calendar app or program of choice. In talking with them they are developing an iPad App version that should allow scanning docs on the fly! When you sign up, use my referral code WW056. Currently offering a 30 day free trial.
But how to get all that paper everyone else send you into Mycase . . .
Fujitsu ScanSnap - The scanner you always wanted. It's fast and it's easy to use. Actual one touch scanning. Put the paper (Up to 30 pages) in and push the button. When it's done it pops up on your computer and asks you what you want it to do with your new PDF file. Save it, Fax it, Print it (why?) or whatever. It auto-detects color or black and white, even automatically detects double sided pages and scans them in duplex! Amazing! You can customize the settings if you want to, but the auto feature does a good job of balancing file size v. image quality and I've never seen any need to fiddle with it. It just works. Thanks to Barry Watts for turning me on to this gadget!
Apple iPad - Using an iPad in conjunction with MyCase allows me to go to court without paper. Not only do I look cool carrying just an iPad instead of a stack of files or circa 1980 briefcase but every detail about every case is just a few finger taps away. Including every document, letter, police report, lab result, etc.
Not just for MyCase Access though, you can also look up docket sheets on Missouri CaseNet or do legal research on your provider of choice. Stuck in court? Read online newspapers, a Kindle book, or keep track of your friends on Facebook. You have to make sure you have internet access though, and for that I use . . .
Verizon Mifi - This little box is a beautiful thing. It gets Verizon 3g internet access and rebroadcasts it as Wifi internet access for you and your 4 closest friends (or devices) with the password. You can use your wifi iPad anywhere you can get cellular service even if that particular courthouse (I'm looking at you Christian and Webster Counties . . ) doesn't have wifi access yet.
The device is usually free if you sign up for a data plan. I have a 2 year deal 5gb per month (plenty) for around $60. Looking forward to 4g speeds in the near future as well
Mac - Can you do all this on a PC? Sure. But why? It's SO MUCH harder. Get a mac, seriously.
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