Reprinted with permission from my blogging friend, Grant Griffiths:
I have been promoting the use of Mac’s in the law office since I switched to the Mac platform August, 2004. As I have stated many times about my switch, why did I wait so long to visit the Apple store? Why did I wait so long to switch.
The Mac OS just works and works great. Since August of last year, my 14″ iBook has never crashed. Nor have I experienced the dreaded blue screen of death. Virus worries are non-existent. I don’t even have a virus program on my Mac.
When I started to consider the Mac for my office, I researched the switch for roughly 6 months. I looked at word processing programs first. My choice is Microsoft Word for Mac. I am able to do anything with my Mac that you can do with your Windows (windoze) machine. Best of all, I can swap documents with clients and other attorneys who use windoze machines. So, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t work in a windoze office with your Mac. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t swap documents with another attorney or client with your Mac.
Next, in my consideration of the Mac, I explored the case management software out there for the Mac. Now I must admit, you don’t get the choice of Time Matters. Except perhaps the World Edition that can be used over the internet. But, for me that was not the answer. I am a solo, who has my office in my home. My Paralegal works out of her home. She does nothing with my calendar and I answer my own phone. So, I did not need a program that would support multiple people and staff. But, I needed a program that would do what I needed. Manage my case load. The result of my research brought me to Lawstream. I also must admit that I am just in the process of implementing Lawstream into my office. But, from what I have seen so far, it will do anything and everything you need in case management.
I also use some other great programs with my Mac in my law office. The last one I am going to mention is Circusponies Notebook. I set the notebook up just like one of those trial notebooks you can buy. I set this up for any major case I have and it is wonderful. I put PDF’s of all the case documents in the notebook and also use it to organize the case in that fashion. To get my PDF’s on my computer I use the ScanSnap scanner.
Besides all that I have explained above. One of the best things about the Mac in the law office is the savings I have experienced. While some may claim the Mac cost more, I would have to argue it actually cost less. Think about it, I don’t have a virus program on my Mac. I have experienced no down time due to a virus. How many windoze users can say that. Before I made the switch, I would pay at a minimum of $1,500 per year on IT support. I now spend zero. When it came time to establish a network, I just plugged them in. None of that “stuff” you have to do with a windoze machine. So, in my humble opinion, Mac actually cost less than windoze.
For you 3L’s out there, if you have a Mac already, keep it. You will be able to use it in the office you may end up in. I will warn you however, if your future firm is using Timematters or some other windoze based case management program, you may have problems. But, as far as drafting documents, reading PDF’s and organizing your cases, you can do anything with your Mac.
Finally, I leave you with the best source for information out there on using Mac’s in the law office. Go to MacLaw.org. This is a great group of Mac using attorneys. I actually spent the entire 6 months I was researching Mac for my own law office on the email list for MacLaw.org. Best of all, the members are eager to answer any question you might have. And, this is a great source for information on software and applications for your Mac.
Mac’s in the law office, you bet. What are you waiting for?