Bare Minimum Tech Standards for Lawyers

I am dealing with an older lawyer who told me that he won’t be able to review my 3 page agreement until January 6, 2014 because his staff will be gone for the holidays and he needs staff to help him with technology – in this case, with blacklining my agreement, which would be tough since I sent the agreement to him in pdf format. I suggested that he make his comments in pen on the document and then fax it back to me. He did manage to do that.

This is not the first time that I have come across lawyers who are completely lost with even the most basic office technology.

So my grown-up Christmas wish is for Law Societies to mandate certain equipment and competency for Canadian lawyers.

Here are my top 5. I invite readers to add more.

1. There has got to be basic competence with word processing software and for those practice areas that warrant it, competence with Excel (for example just Google “Casey Flaherty tech audits”);

2. There has got to be an email address and fax that is regularly checked and an ability to use them without staff assistance;

3. There has got to be a requirement to have a mobile phone with a data plan, connected to the above email and the lawyer’s electronic calender – and an ability to use it without staff assistance;

4. There has got to be a good quality printer and scanner usable by the lawyer; and

5. Mastery of relevant software for specific practice areas, real estate, family law, etc.


  1. David Collier-Brown

    I’ m a techie, as is my lawyer (he taught me programming, in fact), but it’s silly to expect everyone to be.

    If it’s inside of work hours, or if it’s an emergency, their using a staff person who speaks my language suffices. If it’s neither, why am I bothering them???


  2. I would agree with these as the minimum requirements. Unfortunately, my workplace doesn’t have the technological capability to synch our outlook calendars with our Blackberries!