Remember back in the dotcom days, when everyone’s goal was to develop that killer app, a computer program that is so useful that people will invest in a particular machine or hardware simply to run that program? In law, a killer app is harder to come by, yet Henry Zapruder, who died earlier this week of brain cancer (Wash. Post, 1/27/06) helped create one, by bringing the concept of IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts) to legal practice in our country. According to the article, since their inception, IOLTA funds have raised more than $1 billion for legal fees for impoverished clients. Reading on, I also learned that though Zapruder eventually became a senior partner at biglaw firm Baker and Hostetler in 1998, for nine years prior to that, he was a shingler with a firm he’d formed, Zapruder & Odell.
What’s your killer app for our profession, the thing that will improve it measurably, the idea that will bring real meaning to concepts like "client service" and "equal justice" and "access to law"? Because we need those killer apps now more than ever, before our profession kills itself.