Law.com published an excellent article today discussing the viability of lawyers using Macs. I should note that this article gives this blog a nice little "shout out," but that’s not why you should read it. Rather, if you have given even a moment’s thought to switching, you should r ead it
because the story told by Mr. Burney mirrors that told to me by other
switchers in recent years. Basically, if you give the Mac a try, you will love it
and wonder how you ever got along without it.
In his article, Brett Burney notes his initial skepticism that all the wonderful things about Macs couldn’t possibly be true. Of course, these things include such things as not crashing, quick startups, not having viruses, and everything just working — all of which Mac users sometimes take for granted.
Mr. Burney’s article encapsulates what most Windows-using lawyers find when they actually give Macs a try. In the end, he concludes that "I am happy to say that using a Mac today in the legal world is absolutely possible" — just as I have been saying for quite some time. Of particular interest in this article is the progression that he goes through in reaching his conclusion, as evidenced by these quotes:
- "The MacBook line of laptops are superbly designed. They look great, the
keyboards are extremely usable and the actual computer is slender and
graceful. There are only a few Windows laptops that can compete with
the creative stylings of the MacBook…."
- "I believe the additional cost [of Macs] covers itself in the
long run because the Mac is a more reliable hardware platform. Macs
don’t quite require the same level of maintenance and technical support
as a fleet of Windows computers." Also, "[t]he usual complaint that Macs are too expensive dissolves quickly when
you realize you literally get two computers for the price of one [when considering you can run Windows programs too]."
- "Macs just work. My MacBook Pro finds wireless networks without popping
up esoteric dialog boxes. And it "wakes up" within two to five seconds
after I open the lid. I rarely shut the computer down when I’m done
with my work — I just simply close the screen. When I open it again, I
can immediately get back to work…."
- "Mac users can be
immediately productive because the platform is very easy to use and
pleasant to operate." "[T]here are "magic tricks" on the Mac that I can no longer live without" such as the two finger scroll, the built-in sensor that automatically dims the screen in low-light, the backlit keyboard, the MagSafe power adapter, and the ability to ‘print to PDF’ from any print command.
This article notes that the "biggest hurdle standing in the way of a legal professional using a
Mac is the lack of legal-specific software for the platform." However, he does note that through the use of BootCamp and/or virtualization programs (such as Parallels and others), Mac-using attorneys can run Windows programs when necessary. Of course, Windows users don’t have that option… too bad!