The internet has changed many industries including the way that lawyers practice their trade.  While this might not be the first industry to come to mind in terms of how it uses the internet, the World Wide Web has had a huge influence on the practice of law.


Thanks to the internet, geography is no longer an issue.  Even having a website can draw in hundreds or thousands of clients that the firm would not have had if it hadn’t been for a foray into the internet.  There are many examples of firms which have been able to expand into foreign countries and thrive there all thanks to the doors that the internet has opened.  In addition, it is now easier than ever to communicate with lawyers who are half a world away.  Thanks to email and instant messaging, lawyers can work together no matter where they are located. 


The internet has also led to the proliferation of electronic publishing. Now lawyers and firms can print such things as bulletins and have them distributed all over the world. Many of these bulletins have become very popular, but if they were a traditional paper publication the cost associated with them would be too high.  However, thanks to the internet, firms can publish papers and have them read in all corners of the world. 


Lawyers frequently need to talk to each other when dealing with a large case and thanks to the internet, they no longer have to be in the same room with each other. This has led to a lowering of travel costs as teams of lawyers can discuss the case over Skype or another similar program.  Video conferencing is now the wave of the future and can be done much easier than trying to get everyone in the same room at the same time. 


Lawyers need information in order to win cases and that has also been made much easier thanks to the internet. Instead of having to haul around reams of paper or huge law books, lawyers can now find the information they need by simply logging onto the internet.  Lawsuits, judgments, phone numbers, liens and other records are easily accessed and can make prepping for a case much easier.  In addition, all team members will have access to the same information no matter where they are located.  


The practice of law also involves a lot of paperwork and lawyers can now easily access the forms they need on a wide variety of websites.  In addition, even regular people can go to websites and create their own legally binding documents such as articles of incorporation for a business or a last will and testament.  This has also cut down on the number of fees that can be charged and opened the law to more people than ever before. 


The internet will continue to change the way we live our lives and how we operate in the world of law and justice.  It will be interesting to see how it continues to affect the practice of law in the future.

Brent Johnson

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