A smidgeon of data would go a long way to help us understand whether lawyers should create their own documents or dictate the first draft. The clarity and resounding persuasiveness of “it depends” just doesn’t answer the question. Nor does a survey of law firms in October 2005 by the Esquire Group help, although it prompted me to write this.
Both methods fare better, to be sure, if the lawyer types or dictates competently. Typing does not rely on someone else, unlike dictation which might be to a person (See my post of March 17, 2006 on higher pay to stenos than to digital equipment transcribers.). But there are other dictation choices, too, such as CyberSecretary or voice recognition software (See my post of Aug. 26, 2005 on this software as a chimera.). New digital dictation software makes that choice even handier.