Law Firm Hardware and Software

Build for the future with no regrets…

There is a lot of advice out there about the technology you should have to run a successful legal services business. It has a lot to do with your personal working style. (Laptop, PC, PDA, Blackberry, PC Tablet, etc) Dennis Kennedy’s blog has really great in-depth looks at all of the option. No matter what you choose remember, you are building a business not a personal toy chest. You are in business to make a business not a job. You will add a secretary, a paralegal, a bookkeeper and some day you will even add other attorneys. The cost of the hardware and for that matter the software too is “mouse nuts” compared to the cost of maintenance and service.

The most important things to focus on are: (whether you are solo or in a big firm)

Hardware continuity: For example Dell has a model of PCs with excellent features at a fantastic price but when you look deeper you realize that model of PC is marketed for “home and home offices”. Meaning Dell does not promise that model will be 100% compatible with a PC of the same model manufactured in a different lot. That is why it is cheaper; they source the motherboards, for example, to the cheapest vendor of the moment. In the model of PC Dell markets for “Small Business” you will see the exact same features but at a higher prices. Why? Because in that model of PC Dell guarantees the component will be compatible with the components in a PC manufactured today and up to three years in the future. BINGO! Continuity of hardware will save you a ton of money in growing your business. The money you spend up front is nothing to the headache you save in the maintenance and service of your growing legal service business.

Services contract and Replacement contract: This is 90% of the game when life is not running in your favor. It happens to us all. You are in the airport and you put the laptop down on the seat next to you to get something from you briefcase and in a blink of an eye a nice grandmotherly person sits on your laptop. Or the Security screener drops your laptop as he puts it in a separate bin from your shoes. You are not going to be a home, you are getting on a plane. Now you remember that your bother-in-laws kid who does your computer “stuff” is not on the plan with you. BINGO! Service and Replacement options have to be as ubiquitous and mobile as you are.

Mobility: In real estate it is all about location, location, location. In your legal services business it is all about mobility, mobility, mobility. When you settle on a hardware type that fits your style and it does not have wireless broadband capability you are carrying a toaster. I hear it all the time. I don’t need to have any of that "stuff" because I am always at home or in the office or I don’t even carry a laptop. When I hear these comments I make sure the person is sitting in a comfortable chair with a drink of choice because it is going to be a long discussion. It starts out something like this “are you in business or enjoying a hobby”

This discussion is a blog on its own so if you are interested in how to handle a conversation like this, comment or email and we can blog on together.