My friend Kern Lewis published an article earlier this week in the Texas Lawyer which discussed his firm’s transition to Macs four years ago and the benefits they have enjoyed since doing so. I have summarized his article below, but I strongly recommend that you read the whole thing, as these excerpts don’t do it justice.
Kern writes that Macs are in law offices for a number of good reasons, including:
- Productivity. No more lost time for lawyers or staff due to a computer virus. They can also connect to new networks without any configuration. If a program locks up, only that program has to be restarted, generally with no loss of information; all other open programs are unaffected.
- Creativity. "Trying a suit should be a creative process; if it’s not, the trial lawyer needs a new process." The Mac platform fosters creativity, rather than hindering it. Lawyers should focus on their clients’ cases, not how to make a program do what they want it to do.
- Better programs. While there is still a wider selection of legal software on the Windows platform, there are now numerous Mac programs can perform any task a law office might require.
- Apple’s iWork programs (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) cost about one-third of their Microsoft competitors but will still save their work files in Microsoft-compatible formats. No one who tries Keynote will ever want to touch PowerPoint again.
- NoteBook by Circus Ponies (available only for Macs) by itself justifies my firm’s move to Macs. I can literally try a case with that program and a legal pad — no files, no boxes, no binders.
- Marketcircle’s Daylite handles calendaring, to-do lists, contacts, and other case management functions for a fraction of the cost of most of the legal industry-specific case-management programs. It also syncs its information to a BlackBerry, Treo or iPhone.
- If there happens to be a Windows program that a lawyer just can’t live without, virtualization software (such as Parallels, VM Ware Fusion, or Boot Camp) enables a Mac to run Windows programs side by side with Mac programs.
- Trial presentation. Macs make a trial lawyer’s job much easier in court. They automatically recognize projectors plugged into them and can easily utilize them as an extended desktop, making it easy to present evidence to a jury or play video depositions.
- Beneficial. Jurors have told Kern that the seemingly effortless organization on my Mac was persuasive — not to mention making him feel youthful, hip and laid back.