Technology has revolutionized our practice. Faxes used to be the greatest thing ever, and we have moved way past faxes in the last 10 years. Technology will continue to evolve. My wish list:
1. Phones as we know them are eliminated. All phone calls will be video calls over the computer, screen to screen (or tablet to tablet, or PDA to PDA, or any one of these to another.)
2. The keyboard will be eliminated. Instead, we can just dictate what we want and the computer will print it.
3. Similarly, the mouse will be eliminated. Again, verbal commands replace point and click.
4. Security concerns are eliminated. So remote access from any type of device can be used without concern.
5. Passwords are eliminated. Through fingerprint, voice or eye ball, users can be authenticated without having to supply (and remember) passwords.
Luckily, I do not think technology will in my lifetime advance to such an extent that a computer can replace the attorney completely. There is no computer able to utilize the judgment required of a good attorney. It is not impossible to imagine though.
Genesis, by Bernard Beckett, is a very interesting, creative, well written book which is based on that very premise. I think that it is an individual’s unique judgment and the ability to apply it to unique circumstances and personalities and express conclusions in a meaningful and understandable way that make a good attorney. The job of technology is to make it easier and quicker to analyze a situation, reach conclusions and express them.
So at least for the time being, it is the job of technology to support us, not replace us.