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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.

As lawyers, we're all writers. But we're not poets here, and legal writing doesn't have to be (and probably shouldn't be) best-seller worthy. It should be better, though: clear, accessible, and sometimes even enjoyable to read. And there's a bevy of automated editing and proofreading software out there that promises to improve your writing with the click of a button.

So do they work? Sort of.

Blockchain technology creates a virtually incorruptible, dispersed database of all transactions in a network. It's the technology that helped make Bitcoin a (relative) success, but it's often hailed as a potentially transformative technology in finance, business, and the law. There are contracts that use the blockchain, for example. There may one day even be entire government databases based on blockchain technology.

But, as James Ching recently pointed out, there could be a downside to all the blockchain hype. It's possible that blockchain evidence may be inadmissible hearsay.

When it comes to law and technology, the future is wide open. Will artificial intelligence transform the practice of law? Will electronic surveillance mean that nothing can be truly confidential? Will you ever be able to find a password that you can remember? Yes. No. Maybe.

The future of the law and technology is an unanswered question. Here are the ones we're asking.

Pro se litigants are becoming increasingly common and while some self-represented parties do a pretty respectable job, others do not. Maybe they show up unprepared for their hearing. Or maybe their complaint is hand written. Perhaps they have ... unique views on admiralty law and the federal legal system.

But hey, what can you expect? These litigants don't have years of legal training and much of their legal know-how comes from a Google search -- if that. Thankfully, there's now a simple way for pro se parties to get prepped for court. An online video game developed by law professors at Northeastern University walks the self-represented through the basics of the courtroom -- helping them out long before they show up in their pajamas.

You don't have time to waste. Or if you do, you don't want to waste it renumbering paragraphs in a document, or futzing with a malfunctioning printer.

Thankfully, many of the obnoxious time sucks we encounter can be avoided, making our days more productive and less annoying. How? Here are our five top law firm productivity tips, from the FindLaw archives.

If you're an attorney (or anyone) using Windows, computer security experts have an urgent message for you: uninstall QuickTime, immediately. That's because the Window's version of QuickTime, the multimedia program found on most computers, is no longer supported by Apple, its maker.

That means the software will still work, but there will be no more security support -- leaving QuickTime users vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. So, follow the advice of the experts (including the Department of Homeland Security) and kick QuickTime off your computer. Here's how.

You were into the Microsoft Office Suite before it was cool; now you're looking for the next best thing. You're tired of the Apple fanboys and want to support the underdog. Or, you just really hate PowerPoint.

Don't worry, there are plenty of alternatives to dominant software out there -- good, often cheap, and sometimes free alternatives. So, if you want your law office to take the road less traveled by (technologically speaking), we're here to help you out. Here are our top alternative tech posts, from the FindLaw archives.

When it comes to useful robots, we're still a few years away from getting a real-life version of Rosie, the robot maid from 'The Jetsons.' (A Roomba will have to do.) And indeed, we may never get the metal heaps promised by 60's era futurism.

But, with advancements in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, virtual assistants are proliferating. Siri can pull up directions, Cortana can play your favorite music, and now X.ai, a new virtual assistant start-up, is promising AI help that's actually useful in the office: Amy, a bot that can handle your scheduling.

Mock Juries Made Easy With New Tech Research Tool

Imagine you're a litigator or potential litigant looking at the possibility of a jury trial. Wouldn't it be a great thing to get a very good educated guess as to the most likely verdict a particular jury would reach?

In the words of this generation, "There's an app for that." Litigation tech provider company Precise has announced the release of Predict, a jury research tool that makes use of statistics to get that long sought after prediction.