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When lawyers use their laptops during meetings

In many high-tech companies, or perhaps I should say in many young companies, lawyers commonly bring their laptops to meetings. With power cables, LANs and WIFI networks readily available, the lawyers need never be electronically out of touch. They can be present at the meeting while all the time attending to their email, instant messages, stock quotes, and social networks.

What trips up this keyboard hyper-activity is that humans have limits on their ability to multi-task. Incoming email messages are too seductive to ignore (See my post of Feb. 20, 2008: diminished productivity.).

Even so, since stretches of every meeting have no relevance to some people, on-line lawyers can interleave their work into those slack periods. They can find and share (or even project) documents and quickly research something, such as a law firm being discussed. Everything electronic is available all the time for the plugged-in attorneys.