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A Futuristic Law Firm?

Imagine working in a firm and a client calls. Before anyone picks up the phone, the system uses caller id to determine who is calling and routes the call to the appropriate attorney. As the phone rings in the attorney's office, he glances at the computer screen which is now displaying the client's information. When the attorney answers the phone, a timer starts tracking the length of the conversation.

After the conversation is completed, the attorney instructs the system to bill or not to bill the client and verbally enters a description of the conversation into the system. Now he returns to dictating a letter for another case. But the dictation does not go to the traditional word processing pool but appears directly in WordPerfect as he speaks. As soon as he has completed the letter, he faxes or E-mails the letter directly from his computer.

As he sends the letter, the system notifies him he has an incoming E-Mail. The attorney tells the system he would like to review the new message.

It is from a co-counsel working on a case. But the E-Mail not only has text, but graphics, video, and sound. The co-counsel recorded some verbal notes discussing a picture enclosed in the E-Mail which will be used as evidence.

Does this sound like a futuristic law firm only to be found in a science fiction book? Your answer is probably yes. The correct answer is no, this is not the future but is actually the present. It is difficult to believe but all this technology is now available.

The one profession which can benefit the most from technology is the legal profession. A law firm generates more paper documents than any other profession and often needs immediate access to it. With the aid of computers, they can have all the information at their fingertips in seconds.

The only reason not to use this technology is because your firm likes high overhead through unnecessary personnel. A law firm which boast it has 30 attorneys and 60 paralegals and secretaries will not be practicing law at the turn of the century. More lean, mean legal machines will be taking away your clients through better service and better rates.