There are many predictions for 2019, so we thought we would steer away from piling on with more predictions. Instead, we thought it would be beneficial to share our "top five" technology resources that we use or which General Counsel couldn't do without in managing professional productivity. Since professional productivity has a direct correlation to your professional success, we thought these would be helpful tools for you too.
The fifth resource below is actually just that, a resource. We have included it on our list because we believe that the legal profession is in a period of transition, and with change comes opportunity. There are new and emerging career paths within the legal profession and legal operations or "legal ops" is an area that deserves attention. “CLOC” is a comprehensive resource both in educating professionals and providing ways to connect with legal ops as part of your career development. Two thoughts: you may want to think about a rotational assignment in legal ops, or you may want to consider it as an alternative legal career path.
We hope that these resources help in advancing your mastery of technology as you manage your legal career trajectory through 2019 and beyond.
In writing this article, I am using the dictation function on my phone and will send it to a word document where a lot of editing is done. (The dictation function on computers is not as advanced as the dictation function on mobile devices. Therefore, I start with a mobile device.)
If you have a technology resource that you would like to share with others- feel free to send it to us where we will compile technology resources to share with others.
May your career "grow" forward in 2019.
1. Google Voice
The technology provides you more control over your phone calls. You receive one number for all your phones, inexpensive international calls, voicemail, and transcription via email, for free! (US only)
You can set up a separate number so clients can call or text you without reaching you on your personal number or interrupt your non-work hours. You can even read transcribed voicemails and text messages from your email. For those in-house or at a firm that tracks billable hours, it’s timed for you so you can track communications and bill/track accordingly. The number can be used in lieu of your personal cell number to protect privacy.
Think of it as a virtual receptionist. You can screen calls during non-work and working hours without having to use your personal cell.
An online information storage service that lets you create text notes, or upload PDFs. The benefit is the ability to search your data using an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. Whether you are in the office or working remotely-you can find documents when using Evernote.
The free version allows you to search your notes and if you have included attachments, the attachments by keyword or words- again a tremendous time saver when managing multiple projects.
3. Voice Recognition for Commands and Email Dictation.
This is an invaluable resource for drafting content; think of it as replacing the Dictaphone.
You can also set up voice recognition to enable voice commands for completing tasks on your computer. You can, for example, instruct your computer to set up and then send an email.
If you do a lot of research, you know the pain of having multiple tabs open to have them disappear if Chrome crashes, your computer stops working, or the difficulty of having to remember which bookmark relates to each project. Did you know that you can create a bookmark of all the tabs you have open? You don’t have to do this one by one, either, right-click on any open tab and choose the option that reads “Bookmark all tabs.”
If you prefer using the keyboard, that’s Ctrl-Shift-D. You can label the bookmark related to the legal project/research so that when you want to return to the research or project, you can open all the same tabs. This is a small tip but one that can save time and reduce the frustration of having to back into the research or project.
The topic of “legal ops” has been bantered about and some believed it might be a passing trend. Whether legal ops is in place in your legal department or not it looks like expertise that will have a lasting impact within the legal profession. Whether it is managed by lawyers or business professionals has yet to be settled but “CLOC” is a professional association with annual conferences that appear to be growing in attendance and popularity.
CLOC has defined legal operations to include 12 core competencies that “represent areas of focus that every legal department must manage to have a disciplined, efficient, and effective legal function. They are also part of a bigger picture: determining legal department maturity. The 12 competencies serve as a benchmark to compare a department’s growth to others in the industry and break down legal operations departments into foundational, advanced and mature in order to improve and grow systemically.”