I was recently a panellist on a very informative webinar on IT Skills and Tools for Lawyers, hosted by the Indian Lawyers’ Association and Vakilsearch. I got quite a few interesting insights from my fellow panellists. Preparing for this panel got me thinking about how our tools have changed since the start of the lockdown.
Below is a list of the top tools and skills that the more tech savvy lawyers among us are now using with great effect.
Video Conferencing. This is the least surprising category. With all of us locked down at home, video conferencing is all the rage now. Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Webex are the three names that pop-up most often in the legal fraternity. The Delhi High Court is hearing petitions over webex. District Courts in Delhi are using Zoom. In the US, where most cases do not go to trial, arbitrations are done using Zoom’s “Rooms” feature, where the 2 parties virtually sit in two separate “rooms”.
Document Management. The use of file share and sync tools like iCloud and One Drive has skyrocketed. This makes sense because we are no longer able to access office PCs easily. These tools ensure that all our important documents (including case files) are stored in a secure cloud location and are accessible from our phones, tablets and laptops from anywhere.
PDF Markup Tools. We no longer have access to office printers. And I say Good Riddance. Given easy to use tools like Adobe Acrobat and Notability, there is no need for us to kill trees just to mark up and review documents. My fellow panelist, Ms. Meghna Mishra, showed the extensive features that the ubiquitous Adobe Acrobat has, which allow you to easily highlight text and add notes to PDF on a laptop. I personally like using Evernote’s Penultimate app on my iPad, to take handwritten notes using Apple Pencil.
Needless to say there are other tools which the legal fraternity have been using effectively always. Examples are Practice Management Systems, Document Comparison Systems and good old Microsoft Word. These are still loved and used extensively, but the above discussed categories have seen a jump in usage.
We at EisenVault are here to help law firms and GCs go paperless and store all their documents in our cloud based document management system. EisenVault has useful features like offline-sync, Android and iOS Apps, contract management, e-signatures and various PDF editing actions. EisenVault also integrates with an industry leading Contract Assembly tool : Carta. Do talk to us to discuss how we can help you go paperless.