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November 21, 2008


Blake Boyd

Working in the legal environment and closely with around 50 firms ranging from solo to very large firm I can say with complete confidence that there is far more advantages than "the cool factor".

I remember walking into the Watts Law Firm (http://www.wattslawfirm.com/) back in the early 2001 and seeing every desk loaded with an eMac. It was a odd for me at the time, as I was still on the windows bandwagon. But the firm's productivity was phenomenal. And I think that showed off when walking through the main hallway where they have glass plaques showing every million dollar plus verdict they had won. And let's just say.. it was a long hall, and it was overflowing with plaques.

Recently I began working for another firm, WigingtonRumley (http://www.wigrum.com/). Walking into the refinished historic building what did I see? Every paralegal, every attorney with an iMac on the desk. Looking upon the walls you notice hundred's of millions worth of verdicts. My guess is they won those from "looking cool" as well. It had nothing to do with the staff's ability to access and produce any bit of information I needed immediately. Sure...

Just yesterday I provided support for a local day long CLE for the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association. After setting up the screen/projector, they handed me.. get this.. two macbook pros that were going to run the entire show for every speaker. As the crowd starts wondering in and pulling out their laptops, I was amazed to see a large quantity of Macs. But, I regress, these successful plaintiff attorneys most likely just wanted to look cool.

I could go on and on about the number of firms that are making the switch, and lots of stories about how productivity has increased due to less down time, less SECURITY issues, ease of use, and more. But I won't, I end this comment by recounting a conversation I recently had with a friend who happens to be the CTO of one of the nations largest real estate companies..

Me: Wouldn't life be much easier if you didn't have to support thousands of windows computers and could switch to mac?

CTO: If we switched to mac, I would be out of a job, so no, Windows is great because it breaks so much.

Julie Kiernan

I had a post to respond to Mr. Kodner's article as well. However, I tried not to give him attention for his negative post. He is not even running current hardware (we have Intel Macs), Leopard (he still has Tiger) and MSOffice is the least compelling reason to use a Mac. MSOffice is virtually the same PC or Mac. I use Macs at home and our law firm and would never go back to PCs. Daylite, Adobe Acrobat, MSOffice all work fine. Unique to the Mac: Spotlight, Circus Ponies Notebook, TrialSmart and DepoSmart just make the transition easier. Kodner can stick with his PCs.

Steve O.

Would someone please bring this post and its comments to the attention of Technolawyer? Mr. Kodner needs to be refuted. Particularly compelling is the fact that this Mr. Kodner is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Hi Technolawyer submission was obviously a publicity stunt.

Neil J. Squillante

I'm the publisher of TechnoLawyer. Here at the office we use Macs. I'm writing this comment on a Mac Pro. I have a Mac Pro at home as well. I have an iPhone and iPhone 3G (my original iPhone now serves as an iPod touch). I watch Steve Jobs' keynotes. I read MacRumors.com. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

Ross' article is not anti-Mac. And it was not a publicity stunt. He is one of two columnists for our SmallLaw newsletter, which is geared at small law firms. As one of the most well-known legal technologists, Ross does not need to engage in publicity stunts.

Like any columnist, he is entitled to his opinion and you are entitled to yours. At TechnoLawyer, anyone can respond to anything we publish so I encourage you to join and respond to the column if you have something to say. We'll publish your reply in our Fat Friday newsletter.

Finally, I would like to clarify an issue. I wrote the original title of the column, not Ross: "Why Macs Don't Make Sense Once You Look Past the Cool Factor"

It's common in publishing for the production team to write titles as opposed to the author. We have changed the title to prevent any confusion about the nature of the article: "Macs in Law Firms: Get Them for the Right Reasons, Not Just Because"

The article itself remains unchanged. Most people who read the article will find it well-reasoned even if they disagree with its suggestions.

Thank you for the lively debate.

PS: For the record, I suspect that many people still use Tiger for a variety of valid reasons. While I run Leopard on my Mac Pros, I still run Tiger on my 2005 PowerBook, which I use solely for giving Keynote presentations. Thanks to the iPhone, I no longer need a laptop for other uses. I would bet that someday I'll be able to give Keynote presentations from my iPhone. Then I won't need a laptop at all.

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