Rapid developments in technology are improving life and causing massive paradigm shifts in all areas, and they have had a large impact on the legal profession. The same computerization of records that is assisting the medical industry also helps out the law, which may be the leading consumer and doer of paperwork in the world. Thanks to systems like phone records, email logs and scanned documentation, the files needed to pursue cases are nearly always at hand, likely through a personal computer.
Communication is greatly enhanced. No longer is it necessary to travel in order to see someone face to face – instead, you have the option of a phone call, or an email, or a text message, or video chat, or one of any number of other digital communications options. This easy and cheap access to connection technology means that lawyers and other members of the legal profession can easily get together in a digital room from all over the world for a conference whenever one is required. If you need a consult, just dial up the person on your smart-phone, take a picture or scan of the documentation in question with the phone’s camera, send it to the other party, and discuss the file in real-time.
In terms of research, the Internet is the greatest gift. Powerful search tools such as Google and the frequency of data uploads to the public domain means that the days of reference librarians may be over because anyone from a school child doing a report on the Constitution to a lawyer tracking down obscure records can find the necessary information via a computer terminal. The downside is that some additional verification may be required – with the proliferation of blogs and the “everyone-can-edit” approach of sites such as Wikipedia, there is no guarantee that the data you find is accurate or objective. Then again, that has always been the case.