Dalhousie Law Journal


B. B. Lockwood


Electronic Shock, Computer Technology, Practice of Law


This article was written on a computer by a practitioner of law of thirty years' standing. In all that time I have rarely used a typewriter, and then only in an emergency during the dark reaches of a late night. What has changed? Why not dictate this? Wouldn't a secretary do it faster? . . . and better? The answers are: a home computer now sits on the desk in my study; for me, it's much easier and surer to edit text I can see; and, even with a good secretary, it is easier and faster to review and edit when I am looking directly at my text as I type it. In addition, my secretary's time can probably be put to better use than curing my editorial inadequacies. Then why not write this article by hand? For many of us that is far more labourious than typing, and the product, after we edit and re-edit it with numerous unreadable insertions, will be difficult for a secretary to type accurately. It will need further editing, and cannot then be automatically retyped at home, as this can. However, when I am finished here, this article can be printed in less than five minutes without the further intervention of a human hand.