One great free resource for law firm technology and management information is Law Practice Today, the e-zine published by the ABA Law Practice Management Section. It is normally published near the end of each month. I suggest you subscribe to the e-zine while visiting the site. That means you will receive e-mail notification when each new issue is published online.
The December 2004 issue of LPT has many noteworthy features. "Looking to the Future: What Changes Do You See Coming in the Next Twenty Years" features some provocative comments from a panel of experts. For example, Colorado attorney Phil Shuey predicts that "[a]lmost all commodity practice (e.g., uncontested divorces, low damages litigation, basic estate planning, and simple business structure creation) will be provided either by non-lawyer commercial entities and/or by the court system itself. " Phil’s not the first or only one to predict this, but if/when it happens it will be a shock for those lawyers that handle these types of matters for the bulk of their practices.
Of interest to me as well was former ABA TECHSHOW Chair Mark Tamminga’s article on extranets. If you are still not sure what extranets are or why your law firm would be interested in them, this short article is a good read for you. If you want detailed information on law firm extranets, there’s a link there to the recently published book on extranets by him and Douglas Simpson.