Computer Literacy

It is well worth your while to take the time now to become as tech-savvy as possible.

The practice of law, like most professions, is now largely dependent on computer technology. As a law student, you will use personal computers to organize information, conduct legal research, prepare written assignments and manage and keep track of your time. As a lawyer, you will do all this in addition to using a variety of social networking and web technologies to market yourself and your practice, and to stay up to date on legal trends. Indeed, the American Bar Association has made clear in its Model Rules of Professional Responsibility that attorneys must keep up with all relevant technology, and several state bars (including Massachusetts) have adopted or are moving to adopt similar expectations.

The more comfortable you are with technology when you start law school, the easier it will be for you to learn those necessary for the study and practice of law. It is well worth your while to take the time now to learn as much as you can about using computers. This September 2013 article from the ABA Student Lawyer offers a number of specific tech tips for law students that you would be well advised to review now, before you get to law school.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) offers training throughout the academic year on the most popular word processing, database, spread sheet and web development programs. These workshops are available to anyone at the University and are offered free or for a nominal fee. There are knowledgeable people (often students) at the OIT help desk to answer questions and help you get acquainted with the computer technology.

The law librarian at DuBois Library at UMass offers training in legal research using Lexis and Westlaw, and in computer research using databases in social sciences, humanities, and science.

Take advantage of these resources before you get to law school.