Law Practice Management and Technology

The Bottom Line Volume 35, No. 2, April 2014

Everything Old Is New Again

By Peter N. Brewer, Esq.
Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer

Take dictation for example. I once asked my father, who was a long-practicing lawyer, what type of dictation equipment he used. His response to me was, “I dictate to a live audience.” It took me a moment to register what he was even saying. He dictated to a secretary who had the now-rare skill of having mastered Gregg shorthand. I was stupefied.

Today we have an entire generation of lawyers who grew up with their fingers on a keyboard. Many of them had neither the reason nor the opportunity to develop good dictating skills. And the rationalizations for not attempting dictation proliferate. “I compose better on the screen.” “I’m a fast typist, so I don’t need to dictate.” And so forth.

Becoming comfortable with dictating offers virtues beyond merely getting your thoughts into written form. It is a mental discipline that involves ordering your thoughts in your head. That discipline has virtues well beyond merely recording the written word. Think before you speak, what a concept!

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