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Technology and Wellbeing Both Contribute To Lawyer Competence

Let's cut to the chase: Technology and lawyer wellbeing are not anathema to each other. As a matter of fact, in a somewhat counter-intuitive way, they actually complement each other, and both play important roles in ensuring professional competence.

Technology can certainly provide a useful band-aid, but it doesn't address the root cause(s) of lawyer stress and strain-- that's where wellbeing comes into play. And that's where the legal profession can begin to meaningfully address the matter of lawyer competence.

It may be easy to conflate the concept of making life easier with the notion of finding ease in one's life, but they're really quite different. And it may be convenient to conflate the notion of proficiency with something that is "good", but a quick fix is rarely (if ever) a long-term solution. Ensuring lawyer competence requires both technology and sound health alternatives for the people using the technology.

A popular TV commercial declares that the metaverse (technology) may be virtual, but the results are "real". I guess that depends on one's definition of reality-- real or not, the metaverse (technology) definitely doesn't account for the fact that human beings are more than just the sum of the results they achieve.

In the retail business world, there's a common phrase that most all of us have heard: If you break it, you own it-- that may make some sense if we're talking about inanimate objects, but is it also true of people? Do our law firms "own" the broken men and women who associate with them and do the work that generates their revenue?

They most certainly should. One way to demonstrate that, is to acquire new technology. Another way-- a more complicated, but more effective way-- is to design and implement a meaningful wellbeing initiative, as well as policies that support any such initiative and encourage participation. The availability of technology is a big deal, but what about the health of the men and women who operator the technology?

Competence is critical to the practice of law, and technology is great way to ensure that lawyers can function competently, but commitment to wellbeing is also a necessary part of the process.
As the old saying goes, "garbage in-- garbage out".

Application of a band-aid is often a necessary step toward healing a boo-boo-- but it's only a first step!


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