When addressing the group of eager young lawyers being sworn in at this year’s fall Bar Admission Ceremony, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr., Northern District of Indiana, reflected on how the day-to-day business of practicing law has changed in the 36 years since he took the oath. Typewriters and other modes of communication used when he entered the profession in 1975 have become nearly extinct, he explained, and today’s lawyers must continually update to the latest technologies to stay abreast of developments in the law.
While he gave those in attendance the impression that this new world sometimes left him feeling a bit behind-the-times, when Judge Miller finished his talk, Chief Justice Randall Shepard, who was sitting next to the district court judge, let the audience in on a little secret. Judge Miller had been reading this address from his iPad.
The wave of technology that has swept the late 20th and early 21st centuries is taking us all for an interesting ride. Whether we decide to surf the wave and revel in the new opportunities it offers or submerge ourselves and become overwhelmed by it is up to each of us. I’m guessing that many people feel sort of like a duck in these waters – calm above the surface but paddling feverishly beneath to keep up.
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