One of the other sessions I presented last week at ABA TECHSHOW was “The Business Case for Going All-Mac”, with Randy Juip. The visual notes for this session are shown below, again from Stephanie Crowley of The Chrysalis Solution (courtesy of the folks at MyCase):
If you are an attorney interested in legal technology, you need to be in Chicago this week for ABA TECHSHOW. From the Expo Hall to John Dean to informative CLEs to Rick Klau, there is truly something for everyone. This marks the 7th consecutive year that I’ll be speaking at ABA TECHSHOW, and my topics this year include:
- iGadgets and iGear for the iLawyer (with Jeff Richardson) – Come learn about the best and latest gadgets to use with your iPad.
- The Business Case for Going All Mac (with Randy Juip) – See how going All-Mac can affect not only your P&L, but your balance sheet as well.
- Lone Wolf: Being the Only Mac in a PC Firm (with Randy Juip) – While more and more attorneys are going “all Mac”, many Mac-lovin’ attorneys find themselves as lone wolves in all PC firms.
If you are an attorney who is still on the fence about whether to use a Mac in your law practice, you are in luck. The March-April 2014 (TECHSHOW) edition of Law Practice magazine features an in-depth exploration of this topic by three of the most knowledgable folks on the planet (at least two of them are, and I’m rounding up to include myself).
A tremendous amount of hard work went into this article (mainly by Randy and Larry), as we wanted to provide a comprehensive study at this subject, as it’s one that comes up over and over. The topics covered in this 2,500 word article include:
- iPhone and iPad integration
- Ease of use and workflow
- Using Your Mac in a PC world
- Software (compatible, virtualization, and remote desktop)
- Resources for Mac-Using attorneys
If you are questioning whether you should take the plunge, this article should be a huge first step in helping you analyze the factors to consider. If you know someone else who is thinking about using Macs for business (even if they are not a lawyer), be sure to share it with them.
Source: “Standing Out in a PC World: Using a Mac in the Office” by Randall A. Juip, Larry Port & Ben Stevens, published in the ABA’s Law Practice magazine.
What do the experts predict for the legal industry in 2014? The Make More Rain Blog polled legal technology experts, including Lee Rosen, Sam Glover, Rick Georges, Larry Bodine, and Jeffrey Brandt to get their thoughts on what to expect in the coming year.
This article includes my predictions for 2014 in the area of law firm technology:
I believe that 2014 will see even more attorneys integrating Macs into their practices. Younger attorneys are more likely to already know the many benefits that Macs provide when compared to PCs, and older attorneys will continue to have their interest piqued from their increased usage of iPhones and iPads. The continued development of more specialized apps developed for the legal field will only help.
Some of the other contributors’ predictions were very thought-provoking, particularly Lee Rosen’s (“2014 will bring a bigger gap between winners and losers”) and Sam Glover’s (stressing the importance of lawyers focusing on their professional obligations). I have tremendous respect for Lee and Sam, and I thought their predictions were fascinating and their rationales for same. Check it out for yourself at the link below.
Source: “21 Expert Predictions For The Legal Industry In 2014” by Frank Strong, published at the LexisNexis Make More Rain Blog.
The number of attorneys using Macs has dramatically increased over the last several years. Scan the room at any continuing legal education seminar and you will see glowing Apples everywhere. I attribute this due to a combination of several factors: (1) the residual “gateway drug effect” from the iPhone/iPad invasion; (2) the ever-increasing number of programs/apps available on Macs; and (3) lawyers realizing the many benefits that Macs offer compared to PCs.
What about those in the legal profession who are “Mac-curious” but have not yet made the switch? This term refers to those who have seen or heard about attorneys successfully using Macs in their practices, yet still remain skeptical or hesitant for one reason or another. Are there resources available to help answer their questions and reassure them that yes, they too can make the switch? The answer of course is yes, and the only question that will remain is “why didn’t I make the switch sooner?” Some of the many fantastic resources available include the following:
The Macs in Law Offices (MILO) legal technology forum was created in February 2007 by Ben Stevens and Grant Griffiths to enable attorneys, software developers, consultants, and other experts to discuss and share the best ways to use Macs in the practice of law. Since that time, it has become the largest forum of its kind, with well over 4,300 members – and best of all, it’s free. MILO’s membership roster reads like a virtual who’s who of legal technology, and there’s rarely a question asked that can’t be answered.
The Missing Manual books are generally considered to be the best in class, and Switching to the Mac by David Pogue is incredibly helpful, well written, and easy to follow (even for technophobic lawyers). It walks readers through the conversion process step-by-step, carefully and thoroughly explaining the differences between PCs and Macs, how to transfer your files, the best way to run Windows programs on your Mac, and other helpful topics. In my opinion, this book is a must have for those making the switch, and it will prove helpful later as a handy resource if questions arise.
Apple has produced a series of helpful videos on a wide variety of topics, including Mac OS X: PC to Mac – The Basics. This video runs just over six minutes, and it explains some of the differences between working in Windows and working in OS X. If you want to go deeper, Lynda.com offers a four hour video course, Switching from Windows to Mac by David Rivers, which thoroughly examines the similarities and differences between the two systems, including the operating system, hardware, and even some applications.
The Mac Lawyer blog was the first legal technology blog specifically devoted to using Macs in a law practice. One of its primary goals is helping both new converts and longtime users get the most out of technology in their law practices. First published by Ben Stevens in August of 2006, it now contains almost 700 articles on a variety of topics, including a section on Switching to Macs, and its archives are searchable. You can also follow Ben’s thoughts on technology and other issues on Twitter at @TheMacLawyer.
2008 marked the first year of the Mac Track at ABA TECHSHOW, the world’s largest legal technology conference, which is held each Spring in Chicago. This conference features noted speakers and experts from all across the country, from large firms to small firms to everything in between. The Mac Track usually includes a few sessions aimed at switchers or recent converts. You can view the upcoming year’s schedule here. Another popular conference is MiloFest, which is held each Fall in Orlando, FL, though it tends to be aimed at more experienced users.
The following articles should also prove helpful to those in the legal field who are considering making the switch (as well as those who have recently converted):
The good folks at Clio are currently running their 4th annual “Apple in Law Offices” survey now through Wednesday, October 23rd. I hope that all of my readers will join me in participating in this survey.
It should take less than 5 minutes to complete, and finishing the survey enters you into a drawing for a brand-new iPhone 5s or one of two iPad minis. You can participate by clicking HERE, and the results will be announced at MILOfest next week.
The Macs In Law Offices (MILO) forum is (by far) the largest legal technology forum for Mac-using attorneys. Since its inception over six years ago, it has become the premier source for lawyers who want to maximize the use of Macs in their law practices.
As of today, MILO has well over 4,100 members, with more joining every day. Its membership roster reads like a virtual who’s who of legal technology, from attorneys to software developers to everyone in between.
If you are not yet a member, you can take advantage of this free resource by clicking HERE.
My good friend / techno-genius, Finis Price, and I were recently the featured guests on the nationally renowned legal podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, to discuss the impact Steve Jobs had on the legal industry. The description of this episode is listed below, as are the links to listen to it.
Steve Jobs and Apple changed the way we communicate, listen to music, watch movies and conduct business through technology. Lawyer2Lawyer co-host and attorney, J. Craig Williams joins Ben Stevens, a practicing attorney and blogger for the popular blog, The Mac Lawyer and Finis Price, attorney and co-founder of TechnoEsq Presentations, as they take a look at the influence of Steve Jobs and Apple on the legal profession, the current state of tech within the legal community and if Jobs’ ideas have driven innovation in other ways that have impacted lawyers.
You can listen to the episode online by clicking here, or you can download it by clicking here. Thanks to Craig Williams and his production crew for having Finis and me as guests. I hope you enjoy the episode.
- Why my firm, The Stevens Firm, P.A., made the switch to a completely Mac-only office in 2005.
- Whether or not Apple’s perception in the legal workplace has changed from the mid-90s to the early 2000s to now.
- Why Apple computers are actually a better value for law firms than their PC counterparts.
- Just how big the iPad has been for lawyers and law firms.
- Where things are headed for Apple and lawyers.
I hope you enjoy the interview, and I want to extend my thanks to both Colin and LexBlog for having me as their guest.
Source: “LXBN TV: Ben Stevens Discusses Apple’s Impact on the Legal Workplace” published at the LexBlog Network.
I am proud to exclusively present the following Guest Post from Mariana Ashley:
Apple is one of the most recognized brands around the world, and, at least according to a recent Barron’s survey, one of the most respected. Still, not everyone is Apple crazy, as an earlier post about why people love to hate Apple indicated. Apple is always in the news, so I knew something was up when I saw the phrase "Mac-lash" being bandied about on the Internet over the past few days.
Several news outlets used the term "Mac-lash", so let’s look at one such article, published in the UK newspaper The Independent. The thrust of this and other related articles is that the Apple business model may be unsustainable in the long-term. Experts cite a growing discontent from not just developers and publishers, but customers, too. Quoting UK journalism professor Paul Bradshaw, The Independent article notes:
"I’ve been a consumer of Apple products for a while and I’ve very definitely decided not to get an iPad. Apple is increasingly closed and controlling and I think with the iPad they’ve crossed a line to a place where the usability that Apple is so famous for is being undermined by the lack of adaptability. There are so many things that you can’t do with content on an iPad that it makes for quite a poor user experience if you are anything other than a basic user."
Basically, the argument goes that Apple products differentiate themselves by (1) portraying itself as something of luxury item, (2) portraying itself as an "alternative" or "rebellious" product, (3) justifying higher prices by delivering a generally higher quality product , (4) being a closed system in which everything is designed to get you to buy more Apple products.
With the iPad, Number (1) became less relevant, as prices of many of their products fell such that way more people can afford them, in the process losing some of the snob appeal. Same goes with Number (2); now that too many people own Apple gizmos and gadgets, their iconic 1984 commercial seems laughably ironic. Number (3) still holds, and Number (4) is what is angering a growing number of people.
Those who argue that the closed, rigid, some would say almost "old school" business tactics, in which collaboration is insular and products don’t adapt across different platforms, puts Apple at a disadvantage with its competitors like Google. And Number (3), the idea that Apple products are still superior, easy to use, secure, and are generally of a higher quality is what Steve Jobs says makes Apple better.
Jobs noted in a statement last October that open systems aren’t always better, and he attributes his products’ superiority precisely to the way he runs his business, despite it being somewhat reactionary in a climate in which "open" is the hottest buzzword. Detractors say that Apple’s success in terms of delivering hot, in-demand products, is largely attributed to Jobs’ creative genius itself, and that once he goes, Apple will go down with it.
What do you think? Is Apple’s future secured, or will it have to change in some ways to keep up with the competition?