Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Should Lawyers Embrace Legacy Systems?

Attorneys are often advised to learn and adopt the latest and greatest new tech has to offer. But, there is a certain appeal to just having a system that reliably works and doesn't require continual updates.

For lawyers who have that, convincing them to change their ways will be nearly impossible, unless you can point to a potential ethical violation. After all, if something isn't broke, why fix it? Right? When it comes to finding the right tech, it can be rather challenging, but once you have it, you'll be one of those lawyers who are technologically set for life. As such, lawyers as a group tend to embrace hardware and software that is no longer supported by the maker, a.k.a. "legacy systems."

Security at an Affordable Price

One of the big perks about using outdated software and hardware is the lower price. Also, if you get old enough systems, or the right systems, the threat of malicious attacks can be greatly decreased.

If you truly are trapped in the 90s, you may have a client database on a computer so old that it doesn't even connect to the internet, but might still be able to export usable data or reports. If so, don't go rushing to change that, assuming your machine is still in good working order, and there isn't some other compelling need. Keeping your most secure data and backups off internet connected computers, or even from other computers on your own private network, is a good idea given the prevalence of cyberattacks against law firms to steal client data.

But It Already Works!

When something just works, it can be a real struggle to initiate change. But, sometimes, legacy systems, even if they work, might stop being supported for a good reason, such as failing cybersecurity. When that happens, it might be wise to consult with an IT professional to discuss options for maintaining the legacy system on your own, or whether you should be trashing your old tech.

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