By: Prof. Phil Broadhead
The UM Clinical Programs and the Grisham Law Library are proud to announce the speakers and topics in the Technology in the Practice of Law Skills Series for the fall semester. The first presentation will be on Wednesday, September 30th at 12:30 in the Law Library with Justin Cook, Staff Attorney with the Office of the State Public Defender, Indigent Appeals Division, presenting on the continued growth of the use of Microsoft Word© (over the law office standard for decades, Corel WordPerfect©) for creating pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents. Corel WordPerfect© has been the law office standard for word processing system for most law offices, governmental agencies, and state courts over the last 30 years, but Millennials have changed this construct to the blanket use of Word. Mr. Cook will speak on page formatting, methods of inserting authority, different fonts for legal writing, proper point style to comply with the Rules, inserting hyperlinks for references and footnotes, style in organizing sub-headers under broad pleading issues, use of the Thesaurus for creative legal writing, automatic pagination & forcing page number in the middle of a document, conversion to .pdf, scrubbing metadata from draft pleadings, basic cover sheet formatting, automatically alphabetizing tables within a document, and using the “comment” balloons on the right margin for edits.
On Wednesday, October 7th at 12:30 in the Law Library, Clint Pentecost, Counsel with the Mississippi Supreme Court, will instruct on the use of the Mississippi Electronic Courts (MEC), which is the primary method of filing pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents with the majority of Mississippi courts. The use of this platform is now mandatory with the state appellate courts, and in the very near future, electronic filing of legal documents will also become standard operating procedure in all of Mississippi’s trial courts. The MEC is the same as the electronic filing platform presently used by the federal courts, so this training will also make you proficient in both court systems.
Finally, on October 28th at 12:30 in the Law Library, Craig Bayer of Optiable and Tom O’Connor of Advanced Discovery will make a presentation on Computing in the Cloud, Document Search Software (DMS), and The Paperless Law Office. With the means of productivity in law practice moving more and more into the digital world, it is essential new lawyers have the skills to seamlessly enter into the electronic workplace. “Practice-ready” job applicants have a distinct advantage over other lawyers not only in the courtroom, but also in the law office, which makes you a more skilled prospective hire in the interview process.