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Top 8 Legal Tech Tips of 2018

Over the last year, we've shared quite a few tech tips to help lawyers navigate all the new and updated tech that's making a big impact in the legal industry.

As the end of 2018 approaches, now might be a good time to take a look back over some of the best tech tips. And since we try to be as helpful as possible here at FindLaw, we've collected eight of the top legal tech tips from 2018 below.

When it comes to lawyers buying new computers, most subscribe to the age-old wisdom: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

However, when you're heading into trial, or about to take an important trip, if your computer is on the fritz, it's a risk you probably shouldn't take. If you're having trouble figuring out whether your device is suffering from a potentially terminal problem, below you can read about a few of the tell-tale signs of device failure.

While we lawyers will find no shortage of opinions on what sort of computer bag best reflects upon our profession, when push comes to shove, your computer bag better provide good protection for your computer, and be able to carry whatever else you need. And let's be real for a second, ye ole standard briefcase is a relic of the past and rarely provides decent protection for laptops.

Good computer protection means that there should be a dedicated place for your laptop, that isn't too big for your machine and has enough padding to protect against a drop. It can also be beneficial for that laptop compartment to have at least one firm (or structured side) to protect against bending, as well as be elevated from the bottom of the bag (that way in case of a drop, the laptop won't hit the ground first).

Net Neutrality on the Horizon, or Not

By the laws of the universe, like everything else, net neutrality was destined to die.

Even as the U.S. Senate voted to save net neutrality, the pundits said it would not survive the House of Representatives. The President, who those pundits believe would kill it given the chance, may never have to because the idea was doomed from the beginning.

It's like evolution, survival of the fittest, and capitalization of internet traffic. You can't stop big service providers from driving web traffic where it will make them money.

A recently filed case against Apple claims that the computer maker has been ignoring a known defect in the Macbook and Macbook Pro's keyboard. That alleged defect renders keys on the "butterfly" style keyboards inoperable. And while the company hasn't officially acknowledged the problem as a defect, it has certainly fixed a significant number of computers for the exact same problem, and put up a support page.

The lawsuit may only have two plaintiffs at the moment, but there is an ever-growing number of individuals who may want to get in on the case. A petition was created three weeks ago and has already received over 25,000 signatures. That petition pleads with the computer maker to issue a recall and replace the affected keyboards with something different that won't break.

FBI Used Best Buy's Geek Squad for Child Porn Informants

You can find 'geeks' somewhere between 'cool' and 'sketchy.'

Like members of the Geek Squad are cool because they can fix computers. But they can also be sketchy because some have been paid to turn over child pornography they find on computers to federal authorities.

According to newly released records from the FBI, Best Buy's geeks have been working with the agency for a decade.

In what may seem like a venture into the category of the legally weird for this legal tech blog, a recent lawsuit that was dismissed by the Texas courts tells a tale too odd not to share, again and again.

A self-described "Objectophile" lost his Texas lawsuit filed in order to be able to marry his own laptop, and he's tried this more than once. But barring the general considerations of the physical impossibility of marrying personal property, there's an interesting question that follows, beyond just what in the digitally-damned hell this guy was thinking.

Are Lawyer Bots Impacting Jobs?

It's not really news that robots will take over lawyer jobs, but it is about that time.

A year ago, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 23 percent of a lawyer's job could be automated. As it turned out, that future is already here.

Some 1.1 million legal professionals in the United States did not lose their jobs in 2017, but the traditional legal neighborhood has definitely changed since the robots started to move in.

When you're in the zone, banging your fists against the keyboard trying to knock out that brief, stopping to open up the list of "symbols" and scrolling through them can be a real flow killer.

Luckily, there are a few options that you may not even realize exist. If you have the desk space and money to burn, you can buy one of the new "legal" keyboards or keyboard attachments. These have quite a few useful keys that you won't find on a standard keyboard.

However, if you don't have desk space, nor extra computer peripheral cash sitting around, you can easily get by using standard keyboard shortcuts, so long as you can remember them.

Below is a list of the most helpful keyboard shortcuts for lawyers. Most of them should work on most all computers, except for the Word specific ones at the end.

Black Friday Deals for Lawyers

"But it was on sale!"

It's such an accepted explanation for impulse buying, it's practically a mantra. And as religious holidays go, Black Friday is a universally acceptable day to worship the sale.

With some guidance from tech experts, FindLaw has a shoppers list for your pilgrimage to tech nirvana on sale day. This is the lawyer's edition: