March 2012 Bar Bulletin
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March 2012 Bar Bulletin

Marching On: Technology and the Practice of Law

By Kris Henderson
Reference Services Librarian


Whether you are a geek or a Luddite, or somewhere in between, technology is no doubt part of your practice. The Public Law Library of King County has a number of books addressing various aspects of technology in the practice of law.

In case you are not tech savvy, these books are clearly written and most come with a glossary. If you are tech savvy, you will still learn something. They are all published by the ABA and they all bear the brand of the Law Practice Management Section.

The 2012 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide: Critical Decisions Made Simple, by Sharon D. Nelson, et al. (2012): This is a guide to technology aimed at the solo and small-firm lawyer, but any practitioner is likely to find information of interest.

Succinct chapters cover discrete topics such as computers, scanners, smartphones, productivity software, cloud computing and SaaS (software as a service), and mobile security. Typically, a chapter will discuss various products or services, assess the advantages and disadvantages of each, and make recommendations.

The authors are mindful of ethical and security issues throughout the book. Finally, the authors predict what will change during the coming year. Stay tuned for the 2013 edition to see how prescient they are.

Cloud Computing for Lawyers, by Nicole Black (2012): This book provides a general overview of cloud computing, a discussion of its advantages and risks, and suggestions for managing those risks. It includes an analysis of ethical issues, as well as other legal issues such as privacy. Finally, there are suggestions for implementing cloud computing services in a law practice.

Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, by Stephanie L. Kimbro (2010): "Virtual law practice" is defined by the author as a professional law practice that exists online through a secure portal and is accessible to both the client and the lawyer anywhere the client may access the Internet.

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