When I was home for Thanksgiving, I spoke to my Aunt Janie about the most important information technology that was introduced during her time working as a lawyer. She told me that when she was working, computers were installed throughout the entire office, using the Windows 95 operating system. Through this system, all of the lawyers in the firm were able to send an email out to the whole office stating the briefs they had, and sometimes they would get replies with information that lawyers had used in previous cases that applied to the new brief. This system also included word processing, which was extremely helpful. Before they had word processing on computers, my aunt said that all of the lawyers in her office would write out everything and then type it on a typewriter. She said that this system “totally changed their lives” and was revolutionary.
Although Aunt Janie said that Windows 95 made her office 30 times more efficient, she said that it also had a downside. When the lawyers were able to use word processing systems and look things up online, it changed their ability to find really good quotes in text. She said that the difference is that when you have a hard copy of something in your hands, you can pour over it and think about the wording. However, when you just do a word search you don’t get those interesting types of thoughts. This system made them less creative, because they began to just look for key phrases without interpreting the inner meanings of words. I think that this idea is relevant and applies to some of the struggles students and researchers deal with today. Although I always have an abundance of sources when researching, I find it hard to find the most meaningful quotes to include in a paper.