Why doesn't every lawyer in private practice have a PDA? And case management software?

I strongly suspect that a certain percentage of lawyers avoids all computer technology because the computer's legacy input device, the keyboard, reminds them of--gasp!--secretaries, and that percentage has never probed beyond the caste system this attitude perpetuates.

I will admit that I was skeptical in 1983 when the secretary in my federal government outpost in West-by-God-Virginia attempted to teach me word processing so that I could edit my own memos. Now, I was no stranger to keyboarding, having typed my way through college and even taken law school exams by typewriter, but I was suspicious of this woman's motivations and declined the offer of the lesson. Well, she was a lazy so-and-so, and so, perhaps, was I.

By 1986, the Manhattan law firm to which I jumped stopped actively discouraging lawyers from using computers, but did not encourage their use because, as the offical management statement went, the lawyers would lose too much billable time learning to use the systems. My Wang can do wonders, indeed.

By 1988, at this point in Seattle, I found myself participating in a pilot project placing computers with an MS-DOS operating system on the desks of all lawyers on my floor. There I observed two very senior partners take to technology like ducks to water. So what if they couldn't get anyone else on the floor to use our internal e-mail system. I had seen the light.

Fast forward to 2002. I have skipped right over the evolutionary step where I should have bought a laptop. I am on my second Palm OS PDA. After essentially wearing out my trusty IIIxe in fifteen months of very hard use, I recently sprang for an m515. This is a smokin' unit, folks, and the colored screen makes Bejeweled even more fun to play. With my foldup keyboard and cellular phone I can spend a totally productive day away from the mothership (desktop), all day, every day. All because I am man enough (as it were) to be seen using a keyboard. Now, if only my batteries would hold a charge longer...

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