The Computerised Lawyer: A Guide to the Use of Computers in the Legal Profession by Philip Leith
Thesecondeditionofthis workdemonstrates how substantiallythe field ofcomputers and law has moved. In the first edition, some 78 pages were givenover to the description ofhardwareand software description - almost an 'introduction to computing' for lawyers. Now, in this edition, the general expertise which exists amongst lawyers and the availability ofgood, easily assimilated information concerning the new technologies allows us to minimise this kind of material and move over to more substantive issues. Students no longer have to be told where the 'return' key is, and lawyers are aware of, for example, practice management software. Not only is the general level of understanding greater, but the computer itself has substantiallydeveloped, partlythroughbecomingmore power- ful for lesscost, and partly through the communications revolution known as the 'Internet'. Thishas allowed us to develop areas ofthe first edition which were not looked at due to space reasons: the result is acompletelydifferentbook. The preface to the first introduction made mention of the nega- tive view whichlaw teachers generallyhad ofthe role ofcomputers and law within the curriculum. This has changed drastically and it isnow almost universally the case that law schoolsencourage com- puter literacy amongst students and almost all staff are computer literate. This student literacy is seen as a skill for a future career, as well as a skill required by the law student during their education.