For some time now, technology has played an outsized role in our lives. Whether we love it, hate it, or are ambivalent towards it, there is no escaping the fact that technology is everywhere. It is in our pockets, on our desks, in our cars, and even, for some, in our own bodies.
With that, let me start by stating that I have decided to change things up a bit with regards to my blog. For a long time I have had an interest in technology. However, now as a lawyer and seeing the explosion of legal technology, I want to take some time to deepen my interest and knowledge of legal technology, particularly given the ongoing adoption of legal technologies by law firms and by in-house legal departments.
One of the steps that I have decided to take is start a series of long-form blog posts on legal technology. Although I have written more generally about this topic in the past, I now want to explore it further both for my own edification, but also for the edification of others given its broader importance to my profession. This broader importance is another reason why I believe that a deeper dive into this much-ballyhooed subject is warranted, regardless of my own interest in it. However, before diving right into these posts I do think it is equally important to elaborate on some of the broader underlying reasons for why I believe it is important to write about topics related to this issue and those reasons extend beyond just a matter of legal technology being a personal interest or my belief in its importance to the profession of which I am a part of.
For too long, it has seemed that the world of technology and the legal world have operated almost independently of one another, much to the detriment of each. Yes, there have been a number of forays into bringing the two realms together, but the legal world has been slow to change and, more to the point, resistant to change. Yet, as technology as become more and more integrated into our lives, the practice of law is discovering the benefits to be gained from making use of technology. Yet, while many have sought to take advantage of this growing interest, technology is not a panacea. It will not and it cannot solve a problem that may present at first glance as a technological one, but in fact may well be a regulatory, statutory, or workflow issue instead. Put another way, one needs to not just know what a technology can do, but what it cannot do.
In addition, technology while much in need of being properly vetted, tested, and evaluated, technological advances should be rightly seen as a potential means of reforming not just the practice of law, but the legal system itself. Much has been written and many have spoken about the need to make the legal system more accessible to those without much financial means and about the need to make the legal system more just to those who have historically been under served or ill-served by it.
I have always loved technology, but I have also for many years separated this love and interest in technology from my career as an attorney. Over the past few years, however, as technology has made advances with regards to automating some administrative legal tasks and now starting to automate more non-administrative legal tasks, I have seen the growing need to further educate myself about legal technology and related applications, and possibly to help educate others about these matters as well.
For starting point by starting this series of posts, it is my hope and goal that they will inspire others to not just learn more about how technology can help one be a better, more effective attorney, but also to initiate conversations with and perhaps even bring into their law practices those well versed in technology so that those conversations to be had between the two realms can serve to truly unite them.