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There are some tech devices that all attorneys need. Things like decent computers, quality printers, and effective software are essential for today's practice. Then there's tech that many lawyers should have, like a mostly paperless practice options and good practice management software. But more importantly, there's the tech that attorneys don't need, but want. Really want, because they're cool, helpful, novel, or just entertaining. That's what we're focusing on today.

Here are five nonessential but very worthwhile gadgets you might be interested in, taken from the FindLaw archives.

There are plenty frustrating things about legal writing, like annoying in-text citations, needless jargon, and inflexible word limits. But sometimes just writing is the difficult part. That's because our emails, word processors, and smart phones don't make it easy to use the special characters we need, like section symbols and paragraph signs.

Now there's a keyboard just for lawyers that will end some of that frustration -- and give your mouse and alt key a rest.

Tips for Using Echo in the Law Office

Echo, if you haven't heard, is basically Amazon's desktop version of Apple's Siri. It's a digital assistant that looks like a speaker and responds to voice commands. Call her, "Alexa," because she was programmed that way.

Marketed primarily for home use at $179, Alexa can do a lot of things. Play music, turn on appliances, read news stories, calendar events, set reminders, send messages, and even order products online.

Because of such conveniences, some lawyers are using the device for their law offices. After all, what personal assistant will do all those things for less than minimum wage, plus overtime?

Here are some points to consider:

You're a tech-savvy attorney, as fluent in gigs and RAM and blockchain as you are in personal injury, summary judgement, or motions in limine. You know how to tell a worthwhile tech product from an unnecessary one, and you know how tech can improve your practice of law. Or, hey, maybe you can't tell a Mac from a PC -- but you want the best new tech out there anyway.

If either of these sound like you, here are five worthwhile gadgets you should check out.

Harder, faster, better, stronger. That's the promise of technology. With a few gadgets and programs, you can cut down the time spent on tasks and compete work with more ease and accuracy. Just think of what things would be like if we didn't have email or electronic legal research databases, for example. But even with all these technological advances, it can still seem like the work is never over, especially after the 300th email of the day lands in your inbox.

So, to help you use your tech better, and cut down on time spent on slow or frustrating tasks, here's a review of some of Technologist's best tech tips and tricks, from the FindLaw archives.

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?