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The American Bar Association has announced that it will launch a new technology marketplace called ABA Tech EZ for its members to take advantage of.
The purpose of ABA's Tech EZ will be to serve as an educational tool as well as to offer ABA members competitive pricing on legal information technology (IT).
According to the press release by the ABA, they believe that this collaborative initiative will help solo practitioners and small law firms who do not have the luxury of having an in house legal IT staff to help them run their businesses. Legal software can help with billing, legal research and other law firm computing needs.
Some of the companies that are participating are:
Catherine Sanders Reach, director of the Legal Technology Resource Center wants to ensure that ABA members stay tech savvy: "We want to help our members learn about new technologies, have access to educational materials and training that strengthens their understanding and efficient use of technology, and receive discounts on technology as a benefit of being an ABA member."
This is great news because one of the main casualties of the recession has been purchase legal IT tools. A Wall Street Journal article details how many offices are loathe to embrace new technologies that may make their office work easier: "But even with the potential for productivity gains from newer technologies, it's tough for many enterprises to stomach the prohibitive costs of a companywide upgrade to the latest software and hardware, especially during the current economic downturn. Research firm Gartner Inc. estimates enterprises will cut technology purchases by 6.9% this year, which would be the biggest decline on record."
Let's hope that law firms embrace Tech EZ because it could save them in the long term because of increased productivity. However, the Wall Street Journal predicts that law firms are scared to embrace IT freedom with its employees because of security breaches: "Still, financial-services companies, law firms and others may feel the need to maintain stricter control, for regulatory and legal reasons."
By offering law firms discounts via programs like Tech EZ, it will help law firms break this mindset while allowing them to increase productivity.
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