Many lawyers want to be able to work from home or on the road. According to Barron K. Henley, Esq. and Paul J. Unger, Esq., co-authors of the Ohio State Bar Association's award-winning online law office resource, OfficeKeeper, there are several pieces of required hardware that you will need to truely be a mobile lawyer.
1. Laptop or tablet PC
- Key hardware: This is the centerpiece for a mobile lawyer. If you already have or are getting a laptop, it is a good idea to make it your sole computer and not try to synchronize everything between a laptop and desktop.
- Port replicator: It is also a good idea to acquire a port replicator or docking station for your laptop. A port replicator makes it easy to connect your laptop to external monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, your network, etc.
- Warranty: For laptops, you should always look for a three-year, next business day, on-site warranty that will follow you wherever you happen to be. We also recommend upgrading the warranty to include coverage for accidental breakage (if that is an option).
2. Portable printer
There are excellent, small portable printers from manufacturers like Hewlett Packard and Canon. Most portable printers have the ability to run on a battery if there are no outlets available and some even offer Infrared or Bluetooth connections to your computer in addition to a standard USB cable.
Of course, this is a key piece of equipment for a mobile lawyer and these devices are even more valuable if you have wireless sync with the contacts, calendar, tasks and email on your computer (in Outlook, for example).
4. Portable backup device
You must have a means of backing up the work you complete when you are out of the office. The easiest and least expensive option would be an external hard drive. Most manufacturers of external drives make "portable" models that are very small and do not require an external power source (simply plugging them into a USB port provides all of
the power they need).
5. Carrying case
There are many options from shoulder bags, to backpack style computer bags to those with wheels and collapsible extension handles. An excellent place to start your search is www.ebags.com