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Switching to Macs in Your Law Practice: The Basics

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on June 23, 2016 6:59 AM

According to a recent survey by the Legal Technology Resource Center at the ABA, approximately eight percent of responding lawyers reported that they used a Macintosh in their practice (Macbook, Air, etc.). That doesn't sound like a lot, but it sounds more impressive when you note that the number used to be a little under six percent in 2014 when the same survey was taken.

That means the number is growing, but it's still surprisingly low. Here are a few tips for you to get started switching to Macs in your practice.

Your Machine

Lawyers spend most of their time on documents and relaxing watching cat videos. That is to say, they don't need the best Apple has to offer, so it would probably be an unnecessary outlay of cash to go get the fastest machine. The geek-inclined here at FindLaw generally agree that the iMac 27" is just fine for the grand majority of attorneys.

Since Apple has been pushing its iCloud service heavily, you'll need to go get yourself a SuperDrive so that you can access your DVDs and CDs. After all, how else are you going to listen to those old MCLEs trapped on CDs?

When you're at home, use a Macbook Air 13". It doesn't have the Retina display capabilities, but we've not heard anyone rant-and-rave about how much time that feature saves them. Your two machines will both draw from your cloud.

Software

Brett Burney at AttorneyatWork has been on this "Mac-Practice" issue for some time and he's not at all surprised by the paucity of lawyer programs for Macs. Why would a company put in the outlay when only eight percent of the market is using the platform machines?

So what are Mac users reduced to? Using VMWare Fusion enables virtual Windows environments on Macs. Fellow Mac-o-phile lawyer David Sparks of Macsparky.com laments, however, that "putting Windows on your Mac is like putting your dad in a dress." Unfortunately, it seems to be the only way to force a Windows-based software package on your Mac machine -- and this is something you'll simply have to grin and bear. CaseMap, Abacus, and all the rest can be used on your Mac this way, so fear not.

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