Affinity Consulting Blog


I recently served as a co-presenter at an appellate bench bar conference on technology for appellate lawyers and judges. During the Q&A session at the end of the presentation, My co-presenter and I were asked what we would recommend purchasing, hardware of software, if the lawyer was going to make only one tech purchase this year.

Although we practice in different areas (I do family appeals, my co-presenter does criminal appeals), we both recommended buying a Microsoft Office 365 subscription if you are going to make only one purchase. We also agreed that if you already have Office 365 (if you don't, you should), the top hardware purchase recommendation is a Fujitsu ScanScap iX500 desktop scanner. The scanner has a typical street price of around $420 and includes a nice software bundle.

Why Office 365 instead of making a traditional purchase of Microsoft Office? Many lawyers mistakenly think Office 365 is Cloud-based, not something you install on your computer. They fear they will not be able to use Word or Excel if they don't have an Internet connection. In fact, an Office 365 subscription gives you the ability to download and locally install on your computer the same MS Office applications you can buy in the non-subscription plans.

The advantage of Office 365 is that so long as your subscription is active, you receive all new versions and updates at no additional charge. You also receive substantial OneDrive Clould-based document and file storage, typically 1 TB. Depending on the plan you opt for (the top plan is only $12.50 per month per user), you may also receive hosted Exchange services including multiple email accounts. It is a bargain.

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