Though I’m not an ABA member, I’d be remiss in not informing those readers who are ABA members of this year’s $5000 Legal Rebels Essay Contest, open to ABA members and solos, defined as “a lawyer practicing alone with no partners.” To enter, submit an essay, not-to-exceed-600-words, in response to the question, “What innovation will be most valuable to you in your future practice as a solo practitioner?”
Since I’m not an ABA member, I’m not eligible to enter, but honestly, what’s far more valuable to me in my future practice isn’t any technological innovation but rather, an innovation in attitudes. For example, right now, we have the technology to eliminate one of the hugest expenses in both civil trials and civil and criminal appeals: court reporter fees associated with transcript preparation for depositions and trials. No reason to have humans prepare transcripts, or charge each party for them, but we still do. Likewise, no reason to for bar associations to copyright ethics opinions or issue fifty different opinions on meta-data or make it more difficult for lawyers to practice virtually. Eliminating parochialism from the practice of law is an innovation that matters most to me moving forward, and one which seems least likely to ever happen.