The Bar News

Four must-have tech tools for solos

Naperville lawyer, ISBA member, tech expert, and Solo and Small Firm Conference presenter Bryan Sims (aka The Connected Lawyer) says there are four must-have tools for sole practitioners: a smart phone, a laptop, a scanner, and a good backup system. “Unless you’re going to be tied to your office, you should have some sort of smart phone,” such as an iPhone, a BlackBerry, or a PalmPre, Sims told Helen Gunnarsson in an interview for the yet-to-be-released September Illinois Bar Journal. “You need something that will allow you to get your e-mail, look at documents, and otherwise get some work done when you’re out of the office.” As for laptops, Simms recommends buying a business class model directly from the manufacturer instead of the cheapest thing available. “If you’re using your computer for your law practice, you can’t afford to have it out of operation for a week,” he says. A scanner will help you create a paperless and a portable office. “I recommend that you keep all of your documents in .pdf format. If you want to keep the hard copy too, fine, but scan everything,” Sims says. Scanned documents are easy to manage and disseminate. Finally, you need a good backup system. “Your backup needs to be automatic, so that you don’t have to think about doing it, and multi-layered, meaning that you should have a global copy of your backup information in your house or office as well as online so that if your hard drive fails, or your home or office get destroyed, you can put the information on a new hard drive relatively easily and quickly,” he says. Read the rest of Sims’ advice in the September IBJ, coming soon to newsstands everywhere. Or at least to ISBA members everywhere.
Posted on August 17, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson

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