While the gettin’s good: Mapping tools for lawyers
In a mobile society, where everyone has places to go, and too
many things to do, it's imperative that we arrive where we have to,
when we're supposed to. To help us get there, all of the major
search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!) offer mapping tools, that includes
options (in the case of Google and Bing) for finding directions
based on your preferred mode of transit (driving, walking, commuter
service). Google is generally the default search provider
for most people, so Google Maps, consequently, is generally the
default online mapping/directions provider. Google Maps has a bunch
of useful features, including: zoom-out/zoom-in options; street
views; click-and-drag functionality for route changes; and, etc.
For a view to recently-added tools and features within Google Maps,
PC World just
published its "Best of Google Maps and Google Earth" for
2011. To learn more about how to use Google Maps, check out Google's own Support page.
Why not just use a GPS device? Well, the search engine mapping
services are free, for one. And, in any case, these tools, as apps
for your smartphone or tablet, can be used as makeshift GPS
devices, anyway. It's also helpful to be able to plan your route in
advance, rather than being talked at, as you attempt to navigate on the
fly. Furthermore, street view directions flesh out what you're
looking for: in addition to craning your neck, checking for street
signs, you can also search for distinctive buildings, or landmarks,
to guide your way.
If you don't often drive, HopStop is another great, free website, that is
useful for navigating commuter options in large cities, including
While these mapping services can become essential tools for mobile
attorneys looking for their next meeting, or a new courthouse,
there are also some practice applications inherent, including for
personal injury and litigation firms, that can be quite powerful:
Jim Calloway relays some good uses for Google
Maps, here. And, Morgan Smith drops some knowledge on the topic
at his Cogent Legal Blog, here.
Tip courtesy of Jared Correia, Law Office
Management Assistance Program.
Published January 5, 2012
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice