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What Software is in a Law Firm?

What Software is in a Law Firm?

In order for law firms to operate as efficiently as possible, paralegals must have the adequate know-how in direct relation to computer software. Such software is defined as programs that employ the computational prowess of a computer toward the production of operations that are intended to perform more sophisticated applications with greater ease as well as to ensure the occurrence of the bare minimum as designated by the consumer. They, essentially, add to the computer’s potential, building upon its basic processing, and therefore, including even more reason for its use in everyday life.
Specific examples of such useful software that may increase productivity within law firms across the country are those of HotDocs and West Law. HotDocs is a type of software, which allows the customization, standardization, and precision of documents in a timely manner. 
This program makes for more efficiency as less time is spent having to mull over various errors as well as attempting to figure out how to best modify documents in such a short amount of time. West Law is a category of software that is distinct from that of HotDocs in that it does not operate with the express purpose of creating documents. West Law, instead, exists as a rather in-depth database that encompasses information concerning all aspects of law. 
These may include, but are not limited to, state and federal statutes, codes, records, journals, and other forms. Software is not limited to these two examples of software, however. There exist multitudes of others that deal specifically with legal billing, for instance. In such a case, such software allows for the following: the quicker modification of codes, adequate dealing with conflict management such as would concern the conclusion of legal proceedings, advanced credit card processing systems, detailed accounts of expenditures, presentation of billing rates, and the development of invoices both by print mail and electronic means. 
Scheduling also presents an area that can be furthered by the advent of the use of various software. Instances that may require such an employment include that of meetings, depositions, and the completion of the appropriate signatures upon required documents.
As the software provides direction as to the way in which the computer is to conduct such instructions, you must also make sure that you equal protection against the hopefully infrequent occurrence of adverse occurrences. “Software license agreements” are vital in terms of their understanding by firms. 
This is due to the fact that, in the case of possible damage incurred from the software, your company may then pursue recovery. Since you will have already possessed the background in litigation, it is as simple as reviewing the specifications set forth in such agreements.

Learn the Basic Terminology of Computers

Learn the Basic Terminology of Computers

Within law firms, due to the influx of various paperwork attached to each case that is undertaken, paralegals are often hired due to their computer prowess. The employment of computers into the region of law allows for the management and organization of details vital to the law firm's success as records and other documents have become a given part of its everyday dealings.
 
 
Prior to even tackling the task of operating such intricate and necessary machines, however, it is important to become familiar with basic computer terminology. First of all, the computer is often referred to as a "CPU". This stands for the "Central Processor Unit". Essentially, this encompasses the crucial chip that is the foundation for the entire operation. It, thus, holds the whole complex machine and its processes together. 
 
 
The "Desktop" represents the operating system that your cpu is employing to present itself to you on screen. Examples of the like are the "Macintosh and Windows operating systems." They provide the basis for which the system and its layouts are displayed. In the pursuit of increased organization within a law office, "creation of files" would probably be one of you first endeavors. In such a way, you will be enabling the storage of data, equipped with an appropriate file name to distinguish its contents or purpose since it will reside in a directory soon to be composed of numerous others. When creating files, its is important to be vigilant of your computer's "disk space." 
 
 
This term designates the the actual internal area where the files you create will reside. The more space depicted by this, the more files you may create, and therefore, store on your computer. It is recommended to have more than less as critically-low amounts may affect you cpu's performance. In order to understand the amount of disk space you have, it is, then, advisable to be acquainted with the term "megabyte". One megabyte is equal to one million "keystrokes" within a "text file," a keystroke being each letter or symbol you type, and a text file being the file you compose comprised solely of words.
 
 
Since you will be dependent on a computer for the storage of important documents, both created and maintained, you will want to know about the term "crash". This term is representative of the unfortunate occurrence of your computer, and all applications a part of it, suddenly ceasing to exist. This is usually seen as a blue screen or just a blank one altogether. In such a case, you will have lost all documents you may have been currently working on, or at least everything subsequent to the last time you saved them. 
 
 
To prevent such an incident, it is suggested that you "backup" all of you information, or at least the most vital aspects attached to the law firm's adequate operations, to an "external hard drive". This entails saving copies of the document(s) to an external memory storage device. Equipped with such basic terminology will enable you to proceed as a adequately prepared paralegal amidst the world of legal paperwork.

Using a Computer For Legal Research

Using a Computer For Legal Research

Computer-assisted legal research 
 
 
Despite the existence of such software heavyweights as Lexis-Nexis and West Law, there do exist other options that do not require any payments or other type of compensation whatsoever. Such internet websites exist with the express purpose to provide information for the public. These sites may include law reviews, public records, news articles, and even scholarly articles. There is, therefore, less and less of an excuse for law firms and their paralegals to be slow in providing material needed for various legal proceedings. 
 
 
All the research they may need to acquire is at their very fingertips. The only risk in procuring the services of such free websites is that of less-organized, and information left without adequate examination. Therefore, when reviewing such sites, a paralegal must do so with complete care as is possible. There are both risks and rewards to going the route of computer-assisted legal research as is existent in any technological endeavor.
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