Technology skills are no longer a “nice-to-have” for lawyers. They are a need-to-have.
Technology applications are a critical part of our society, and we as humans are becoming more and more dependent on it. We use technology to aid in everything from scheduling to turning on the lights. If there’s a way to make the process easier, then someone has most likely found a way to integrate it with technology.
As a lawyer, there are hundreds of applications that have been developed to help make your day more productive. But, these applications are useless if you don’t know how to use them properly.
Imagine that you’re asked by a client to join them on a Skype call, and you realize in sheer panic an hour before the call that you’ve never used Skype before. That problem is more than plausible, in fact, it’s a reality people face more often than you may realize.
Moments like this are when you realize that clients assume that you have a level of technical competence, and it’s not a good look when you can not deliver.
Training for the Future
Technology is as essential to law practice as are case law and legal briefs. It’s impossible to competently perform any scope of legal work without some basic understanding of standard technologies. Lawyers are already receiving ongoing training for minimum standards of practice. Thus it makes sense to have technology training included.
You may wonder, how can you bring your technology skills up to par. It’s not as difficult as one might think. You merely have to have the desire and want to commit to strengthening your knowledge. By having this desire, you can begin training in any area that you may want to improve on. Ask questions and look to outside technology resources that can help aid you in this quest. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and learning now will only help you improve your skills for the long run. Work with your IT team to gain a basic knowledge of standard software that could provide value to you.
If you are overseeing technology training for your entire firm, there are cost-effective ways to deliver firm-wide technology training. You can work with an outside consultant to develop a course that can not only teach firm members but also test them.
Even simple training can help lawyers who fear technology gain a basic knowledge of technical competence. This will help them get over fears and gain an understanding of time-saving applications that make them more valuable. When you are a billable asset, your clients want to know you are efficiently completing tasks and accurately billing them.
The demand for strong technical skills is only going to continue to increase over time. It’s important that you jump on the legal technology bandwagon and begin gaining a competitive edge!