The mobile revolution is upon us, in case you lived under a styrofoam cup for the past 15 years. Lawyers aren’t immune from the digitalization of society, and certainly not the constant, unrelenting rush of mobile technology. I’m kind of surprised though at the number of people who fleetingly grasp at the last visages of “old technology,” restraining themselves from the mobile onslaught.
One of the biggest struggles for any attorney is determining whether you should purchase a smartphone. Though I’m a hard-core advocate for all things technology, others reluctantly enter the atmosphere. I blogged about this topic here almost 1 year ago, proposing that the purchase of a smartphone is a good move, but “still doesn’t cut it” in the techno-requirements field. Unfortunately, I never stressed why you need a smartphone in the first place, or even some of the advantages of a smartphone.
Advantage 1: Instant access to information
I really couldn’t tell you the number of times being able to access the internet assisted me in grabbing and using information relevant for a case, argument, or to assist a clerk or judge. Since I sync my calendar with Google, I have instant access to any updates to my calendar on my phone. That way, when a judge schedules something at the courthouse, I can answer equivocally, “that works fine,” and my staff knows precisely when that happens. Through other apps, such as Fastcase, I have access to case law and statutes.
Advantage 2: Keeping up with the competition
Being able to instantly access the internet world is a key advantage to life as a successful lawyer. It also “separates the men from the boys.” Nearly every one of your competitors is using a mobile to device to manage his or her legal practice. Not using a smartphone to manage your business means you’re losing some of your competitive advantage.
Advantage 3: Apps and Productivity
I love apps, and quite frankly, apps are what add the “smart” to your phone. Apps can get me directions, help me edit documents, let me access files anywhere, and even help prepare for a deposition. There’s an application for just about every occasion.
Advantage 4: Affordability
This one’s a little harder to argue for, but while the up-front costs of a smartphone aren’t necessarily cheap, overall ownership is affordable, especially in light of the advantages listed above. The truth is, having access to information, increased productivity, and providing superior client service is worth the cost. Considering all of the advantages, the monthly price is worth the cost.
So, if you’re a lawyer considering a smartphone, my choice is go. I love being able to surf the web, get information, and even play around with my phone.