Professionals in every industry have begun using new types of digital technology in recent years, and the law is no exception. Taking a look at what types of new produces lawyers are embracing currently and in the recent past is an interesting way to gain insight on the profession and its personalities.
Knowing the market
With any product, it’s key to understand the market before anything else. When it comes to the law, software companies have found that lawyers are very practical. They aren’t looking for slim and elegant electronic gadgets that look cool; rather, they want efficient software that makes their jobs easier. Essentially, they are about performance, not aesthetics when it comes to buying any work-related product.
Lawyers love using smart phones but not to surf the Internet. They are using them for work, and the portability and multiple uses of today’s mobile phones mean that lawyers are inseparable from them. Because lawyers often have to work remotely from courthouses, clients’ locations and elsewhere, a high-performance smart phone has become a must.
Back at the office, lawyers have abandoned typewriters and have turned to Microsoft Word and other word-processing software. The use of templates, in particular, means that much of the tedious and repetitive legal writing of the past can be swiftly automated through macros and saved content, leaving lawyers free to devote their time to producing original legal writing.
While a shelf of law books might look good in an office, lawyers are accessing the written law online. Software makes it fast and easy to access specific case law and documentation, and even lawyers who are reaching retirement age have embraced the digital law library wholeheartedly. Because the amount of written law and related content is so extensive, the Internet is the perfect medium for it.
What technology choices reveal
The choices lawyers are making when it comes to the technologies they are embracing show that they are relentlessly focused on serving their clients efficiently. If a new product makes their role of giving clients what they want easier, they use it; if not, they don’t. It’s that simple.
This mindset means that any tech product marketed at lawyers has to be fairly intuitive and easy to use. Lawyers don’t have the time to figure out how to use software that has a high learning curve because that time comes at the expense of their clients. Furthermore, lawyers are more likely to stay with a product they know works than investing time learning one that has some new bells and whistles. Essentially, they aren’t into technology for the sake of technology.
Designing for lawyers
If you are attempting to design a software product that lawyers will use, consider first that it has to make their work lives easier, and it can’t take too long to learn. Products that eliminate the repetitive aspects of legal work, such as billing customers, are highly desired by lawyers.