Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 36 of 111

Law Firm 101 From Mystery to Mastery by Shirley Crow of Farella Braun + Martel LLP When I tell a new acquaintance I'm the CIO for a law firm, there's a chance the person I'm speaking with knows what the "I" stands for. If so, she might say "Oh, so you handle the computers and stuff." When I respond that I'm responsible for IT, the library, practice support, records and the calendar, I inevitably see a glazed-over look. Library? There's a library? What does that have to do with technology? The calendar? Isn't that just part of Outlook? It becomes clear to me it would be better to choose a new topic of discussion than try to explain the importance of a law firm's responsibilities for keeping records of client representation and why a chief executive would concern herself with such a function. Tales from the Frontline There's certainly very little context outside the legal profession for understanding the practicalities of law firm operations. But what about the people who work in law firms? What about the helpdesk specialist, the billing coordinator, the first-year attorney and the law student preparing for a career in a law firm? How much does each really know 38 Peer to Peer

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