How important is technology to a lawyer's career? Three federal judges think it is vital. In the recent ABA Journal article "Catch Up with Tech or Lose Your Career, Judges Warn Lawyers," three federal judges shared their thoughts about the need for lawyers to understand technology. According to U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the District of Columbia, lawyers need technology skills to even get their career's started.
In the article, Judge Facciola asks, "Why hire a lawyer who doesn't even have the
technological competence to complete simple, everyday tasks like
converting a Microsoft Word document into a PDF? . . . The absence of technical knowledge is a distinct competitive disadvantage."
I read the article with great interest because part of my job here at Western New England School of Law is to help students use technology effectively. In response to the observations of Judge Facciola and others, such as Casey Flaherty, I created a series of tech tip videos. The videos cover advanced features and functionality in Microsoft Word, such as creating a table of contents, inserting cross-references into a contract, and even converting a Word document into a PDF.
I know law students are busy (I was recently one myself), so I tried to keep the videos short. They ended up 4-12 minutes each. You can watch the videos whenever it's convenient for you. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection.
The ABA Journal article concludes with an admonition from Judge Facciola: "Lawyers better get crackin'. There's an awful lot to know."
The Law Library's Microsoft tech tip videos are a good place to start.