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Technology is essential to today’s legal practice, from your website, to your practice management software, to simple word processing tricks. But you’re a lawyer, not an IT specialist. So when it comes to setting up your firm’s intranet, evaluating cloud computing security, or figuring out what’s wrong with your email, sometimes it’s necessary to bring in a little help.

Enter the legal tech consultant. A legal tech consultant can be a lifesaver for your practice, whether you’re rebuilding your firm’s computer infrastructure or just looking to improve your staff’s document management competency. But, like with all hires, you’ll want to make sure you’re bringing the right consultant on board. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Drones have been around for some time now. What was perhaps the first aerial bombardment of a city involved a sort of proto-drone. In 1849, Austria employed "unmanned aerial vehicles" (balloons filled with remote-controlled bombs) against revolting Venetians. By the late 1950's, the U.S. Air Force was routinely using unmanned aircraft during missions in hostile territory.

But drones are just recently being embraced for business and recreational use, with non-military drones quickly outnumbering their combative counterparts -- used more often for photographing scenic vistas than bombing neighbors. That proliferation has led to a host of legal issues and the birth of a whole new practice area: drone law. Here are some of the most interesting legal developments in this burgeoning field, from the FindLaw archives.

The impact of technology on legal practice isn't just felt in eDiscovery, incriminating selfies, or AI junior associates -- it's also playing out in courtrooms. Tech's impact in the courtroom ranges from cutting edge, still hypothetical applications like virtual reality crime scenes, to everyday uses like electronic filing and electronically displayed evidence.

But how are judges, often considered tech-averse, responding to these changes? They love them, according to a recent survey by the New York City Bar Association, but they also don't always use tech to its fullest potential.

It costs to be on the cutting edge. When it comes to going digital, going paperless, going hi-tech, you can easily start shelling out thousands of dollars on products and services, some of which may be obsolete in a few years, or even months. But if you shop around, you can stay on top of many tech trends without breaking the bank.

To help you out, here are our best affordable gadget and service reviews, from the FindLaw archives.

Six years ago, Apple released the iPad and suddenly the market for tablet computers, which had been around since the early 90s, exploded. Simple, mobile tablet computing was now a real, worthwhile thing. But since 2010, Apple has been surpassed by its competitors, especially when it comes to using tablets for professional purposes. The primary iPad-killer is the Microsoft Surface Pro, which we love. Sure, it's cute that you can play Candy Crush on your iPad, but you can actually do work on the Microsoft Surface.

Now, with a smaller, improved iPad Pro, Apple is finally getting back into the tablet game. Compared to Microsoft Surface, which one is the best choice for attorneys?

3 Ways Millennials Are Disrupting the Legal Industry

Lawyers have a bad reputation for being stuck in the past. Compared to other professionals, lawyers do not take well to technological changes.

That's problematic because we're living in a time when technological advancements are drastically changing communication and professional services. Science historian James Burke reminds us: by the time you learn and understand something, it's already obsolete. And millennial lawyers are right on that razor edge. Let's look at a few simple ways young lawyers are disrupting this industry.

Forget automation, artificial intelligence, and nano-lawyering. Technology's effect on the legal industry isn't something for the future; it's happening right now. And while tech's impact on the law might not be as "disruptive" as it has been on, say, the cab industry, it is making its mark every day.

Here are the legal technologies that have changed the way lawyers work in 2015.

There's no need to dump those stacks of old paper into the recycling bin anymore. Instead, throw it into the world's first in-office recycling system and, through the magic of modern science, you'll have a fresh, new, crisp stack of white pages waiting for you in a matter of minutes.

That's right, your trash goes in and three minutes later it's reborn like a phoenix. Is Epson's PaperLab the new must-have in office hardware?

If you're shopping for a tech-savvy attorney this holiday season, you'll have to put more than just an iTunes gift card under the tree, or Hanukkah bush, or Festivus pole.

Thankfully, there are plenty of good tech gifts for lawyers this season. Here's our top six picks, all of which are extremely useful and some of which are even pretty affordable.

5 Tips for Hiring a Legal Tech Consultant

Don't fight the technology: master it. Or get someone who is a master to the job for you.

Small firms are depending on technology more and more to help them keep their business running smoothly. We've previously written about considering a social media dashboard to help you manage the social media accounts associated with your firm, so we're squarely in the camp that technology is your friend.

But you're lawyers. Many of you might not have the necessary skills to handle a major tech crisis. And even if you did, we hope you're so busy with clients that you can hire a technology consultant instead. Here are a few suggestions for hiring the right consultant for your legal tech needs.