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WHY YOUR ATTORNEY SHOULD BE ON THE INTERNET


Electronic Mail

    The very fact that you are reading this article means that you are connected to the Internet. You are able to send electronic mail to other people connected to the Internet all across the world. You have already found that electronic mail is the fastest, most efficient and economical way to communicate with family, friends and colleagues. Why shouldn't communication with the people you do business with be just as easy? Most attorneys, especially those who practice litigation, as I do, spend a significant amount of time outside the office. "Telephone tag" is a way of life with most of them. When you have a legal problem, chances are that it is something that has come up suddenly and unexpected. You need answers from your attorney now, not later when he decides to call you back or when you just happen to catch him in after a dozen phone calls to his office. Being able to reach your attorney though an E-mail box means that you can communicate with him at your convenience, not someone else. You should get a response delivered right to your E-mail box within 24 hours.


File Transfers

    One of the things I do for many of my business clients is draft a variety of forms and documents they use regularly in operating their various enterprises. I may also review and edit letters and documents they create in house before they send out or use them. Clients often prefer to have the work I create for them on their own computers so that they make minor editing changes, apply stylistic changes to match their other forms, or print the document out on their own forms or letterhead. Should a client have to wait for a legal document to arrive via snail mail and then go through the trouble and expense of reentering it into their own computer just to make a few minor changes? Of course not! That would be a waste of both time and resources. You should always have the option of having legal documents delivered instantly over the Internet to your private E-mail box already converted into whatever word processing format you use.


Usenet Newsgroups

    As you may be aware, newsgroups are a type of internet-wide discussion group. There is a newsgroup for almost every topic you could possibly imagine, from cooking to rock groups to motorcycles or knitting. Of course, there are also a variety of newsgroups devoted to legal issues.


    Groups such as these allow attorneys to share ideas, exchange information and keep informed. It is also a vehicle an attorney can use to discuss specific case issues with the best specialist in the country should the need arise.


Sources of Information

    The Internet provides access to a wealth of information from that is very useful, whatever field you are in. The legal field is no exception. Lawyers can find cases, statutes and similar materials on the Internet. If a lawyer knows a case name or docket number, he can quickly get a copy from many locations on the Internet at no cost. I even get copies of every United States Supreme Court decision sent to me by electronic mail at the moment the Court releases the decision. In my own case, this has often saved valuable research time that my clients would otherwise have to pay for.


    The Internet is also a great place to find all sorts of factual information an attorney might need on a case. I can post a question to a newsgroup regarding some information I am seeking and get responses from throughout the world. Virtually every federal and several state agencies have locations (gopher or world wide web servers) where I can review and copy information. Universities around out the world maintain sites with a wide variety of material.


A Final Word

    Most estimates of the number of people worldwide who have access to the Internet exceed 20 million. It is growing at an exponential rate. Most experts agree that it will be the way most of us communicate and exchange information in the future. The very fact that you found your way to this page says that you are on the leading edge of this revolution. Should you expect any less from your attorney? If your attorney is not on the Internet, ask why not.


Copyright 1995-2012 by Attorney Ken Koury.