“All our steps in creating or absorbing material of the record proceed through one of the senses — the tactile when we touch keys, the oral when we speak or listen, the visual when we read. Is it not possible that some day the path may be established more directly?” Dr. Vannevar Bush, The Atlantic Monthly (1945).

Most lawyers pride themselves on their ability to think, analyze and craft solutions to problems. Traditional methods shouldn’t deter you from exploring or mastering the applications available today, regardless of the technological jargon or buzzwords surrounding computers and the Internet. These technologies have been in progress since 1945, when scientist Vannevar Bush first envisioned the device he called “the memex”: it was not unlike today’s computer, with its translucent screen, keyboard and buttons that could be operated at a distance, in which data and communications could be stored and retrieved with great speed. Bush envisioned lawyers with a bank of authorities, opinions and decisions at their fingertips; he even described a system whereby patent attorneys could bring up any issued patents, including links to those that met their client’s interests.

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