"Hale and Dorr is the last Am Law 100 firm to make the switch
from a server-and-terminal setup to individual personal computers.
It's not a decision a firm makes overnight. Washington, D.C.'s
Arnold & Porter made a similar conversion in 1998. Says Anna
McManamon, Arnold & Porter's IT director: 'When changing from
Unix to PCs, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most
difficult, it's definitely a ten.'"
"The irony, of course, is that Linux, a variant of Unix, is
starting to make inroads in the rest of the world as an alternative
to Windows and as an Internet-friendly platform. Late adopters by
inclination, law firms aren't likely to embrace Linux anytime
"Life under Unix may have been reliable, but it wasn't rosy,
especially as clients started to want to exchange documents with
their lawyers via e-mail. When documents are exchanged via fax and
courier, the word processor at either end is irrelevant. Not so
with e-mail. Converting documents created in WordPerfect under Unix
for use in Word under Windows, and vice versa, is a pain."