Keyboards come in different languages, and now there’s a keyboard for “legalese.”
On the surface, the Legalboard looks like any old rectangular keyboard. Upon closer inspection, however, you can see some irregular keys that probably won’t make sense to the regular typist.
The Legalboard is a keyboard specifically designed with lawyers and their workflows in mind. It’s complete with special keys and shortcuts to commonly-used legal symbols and terms.
Check it out:
According to Legalboard, the keyboard is designed “by lawyers, for lawyers.”
I’m not entirely familiar with lawyer workflows, but some seem to agree that working with a regular keyboard isn’t very efficient.
Just about everything about the Legalboard is the same as a regular keyboard except for the top row of “F” function keys (above the number keys) and the number keys on the right.
It comes with several shortcuts to commonly-used legal symbols, like §, ¶, or ©, and even the words “court” and “plaintiff.”
Legalboards founder Brian Potts, who’s a partner himself at a Wisconsin lawfirm Perkins Coie, was fed up with the traditional way of adding obscure symbols into their legal documents: “As was my custom, I had to stop what I was doing, use the mouse, go to insert a symbol, find the section symbol and hit insert,” he told Lawsitesblog.com.
Indeed, finding the obscure symbols you need can be difficult. Even if you know where to find the symbol, it still requires several clicks to add it to a document. At least Google Docs lets you draw the symbol you’re looking for…
There are keyboard shortcuts for certain symbols, but they often require a code you have to memorise. For example, for the © symbol, it’s “Alt + 0169.”
Here’s a closer look at the “F” keys:
Here’s what else the Legalboard lets lawyers do:
– Turn underline, italics, or bold functions on and off – Turn track changes on and off – Start a bullet list – Add a footnote or comment, then jump back to the main text – Find a term in your document, then jump back to the main text – Change line spacing – Turn small caps on and off – Insert common citations and legal words like “court”, “plaintiff”, and “id.”
Lawyers seem to be happy with the Legalboard.
— ABA for Law Students (@abalsd) March 3, 2017
It costs $US65, and it works with Microsoft Word on Windows as far back as Windows XP. Unfortunately for Apple-loving lawyers, the Legalboard isn’t compatible with Macs.
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