Legal technology issues abound, but the release of a keyboard for lawyers has got the legal world in a state that fluctuates between super-excited tweeting more frequent that even the President Elect, to those who wonder why it was developed in the first place.
The keyboard is nothing that could realistically be compared to an iphone release in terms of innovation or tech excitement.
To the contrary, it tends to pander to the sort of things lawyers like tracking changes and comments, using common legal terms and symbols.
The keyboard is now extending to around 25 states and one of its better attributes is its ability to produce superious typography, which has been
a major shortcoming for Windows.
For instance, using a symbol that you cannot type into Word requires the use of a couple of keys typically. For instance,
§: Alt + 0167
¶: Alt + 0182
©: Alt + 0169
But the new keyboard, developed by Perkins Coie business and litigation partner Brian Potts who developed and incorporated the “law” functions into the keyboard via the F1 to F12 keys and numbers pad.
Did he need to?
No. But many lawyers love it and the ability to shift between the ‘legal’ functionality and normal functions makes the move all the more acceptable.
So, for instance, common abbreviations and words can be used through the F1 and F12, using terms like plaintiff, defendant, respondent, F.2d, U.S.C., C.F.R. and so forth.
Some of the number keys will put in the full word, such as ‘court of appeals,’ or ‘supreme court’.
Words can also be capitalized, such as using the shift key and F11 to get ‘Appellant’, and number keys can also insert symbols like §, ¶ and ©.
As well, the number keys can be used to insert bullets, add a footnote, turn track changes on or off, turn the ‘legal function’ on or off and so forth.
Good thinking on Mr Potts part and the reviews have been generally exemplary. AbovetheLaw law tech writer Robert Ambrogi received his most-ever response to the review of the keyboard, saying:
Hits to my blog post last week announcing the new keyboard went through the roof, far exceeding any single post I’ve ever published, and continued to do so for several days. Twitter lit up with opinions about the keyboard. Some declared it a brilliant lawyer’s aid. Some declared it an affront to tech-savvy shortcut users. Still others offered their wish lists for keys to add in future versions.
You can view Robert Ambrogi’s ‘unboxing’ the Legal Keyboard below:
The keyboard is available at LegalBoards.