If slow and steady wins the race, then attorneys are finally getting off to a good start in the quest to integrate technology into their practices in ways that improve their work habits and client service. Judging from the recent American Bar Association TechShow, progress�albeit in baby steps�is apparent. Not only is the technology cheaper and more reliable, but in a cautious profession that values referrals, lawyers can also go where their colleagues have already gone before.

The increased attorney acceptance of high-tech toys was noticeable in the number of PalmPilots and laptops in use by TechShow audience members. “I was pleasantly surprised,” says David Hambourger, of counsel to Chicago’s Winston & Strawn and the firm’s director of practice support. As he scans business cards into his PalmPilot using CardScan, at www.cardscan.com, Mr. Hambourger adds, “I’ve seen a marked difference in the intensity and interest of attendees” over the past year. “There’s been a shift in the tides, and a lot of firms have done pilot projects now,” agrees John Hokkanen, chief knowledge counsel to Atlanta’s Alston & Bird L.L.P., “and the technology is simpler.”