Information provided by the library is not a substitute for legal advice. This is the standard disclaimer on everything we produce — our website, our research guides, and our email correspondence. We at the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library explicitly do not give “advice.” Today’s blog post is the exception.

On this Tech Tuesday, we do have advice, not legal advice, of course, but recommendations for selecting and buying legal tech. First, recognize that any tech you buy will quickly lose its value as more sophisticated devices are developed and brought to market. With this in mind consider the following:

  • What’s my budget? Consider value for your dollar.

  • What do the reviews say? Read lots of them. See below.

  • How long will the tech provider or device manufacturer support its product? Don’t get stuck with an outmoded, unsupported operating system that won’t allow for updates and is no longer compatible with your other software or devices.

  • What about privacy and security? Look for features that allow you to keep your data private and protected. Identify weak spots in your tech that may leave you vulnerable to hacks and attacks, not only for your security but for the securtity of your clients.

  • Are your devices compatible? The Internet of things can offer convenience and efficiency by allowing your devices to communicate and share data, but if your tech tools don’t talk to each other, your network of devices won’t serve your needs.

  • What features do I really need? Technology is an amazing tool, but spending money on features you don’t need and won’t use is a waste. Don’t get distracted by shiny things, and focus instead on the essentials.

  • Does the device have longevity? Consider the shelf life of your tech, and keep our words of caution in mind: Recoginze that new tech is always in development and that value declines the moment you break the seal or unbox the device. You should certainly get decent mileage out of your purchase, but know that tech is always evolving.

Do your research to find the tech tool that most cost-effectively meets your needs for security, connectivity, compatibility, ease of use, and (fun)ction.  Suggested sites for the best tech reviews are listed below.Happy shopping!