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Legal Obsolescence: Say Goodbye to These Items in the Legal World

Cassette New York magazine had an interesting list of things that were once everyday, common items, but are now all but obsolete. Their list (via this post on, and my comments, are as follows:

   1. Answering machines (haven't seen one in 5 years)
   2. Lickable stamps (haven't licked one in 5 years)
   3. Foldable road maps (still have a couple, sorry)
   4. Cathode ray tube TVs (have several littering my home)
   5. Incandescent light bulbs (huh? I have many of these in my home)
   6. Paying for pornography (ummmm ...)
   7. Smoking in bars and restaurants (good riddance)
   8. Fax machines (these relics have not gone away in the legal world, hopefully they are on their last leg)
   9. Hydrox cookies (Oreos rule)
  10. Cassette tapes (Ha. Those barely made it into the 90s, let alone the 00s)
  11. The French franc, and every other former currency in the Euro zone (It's all about the Euros, baby)
  12. Floppy disks (now used only for drink coasters and in bad movies)
  13. Phone books (one just arrived in my mailbox, so too early to declare these dead)
  14. Polaroid photos (way dead)
  15. Bank deposit slips (still alive in my bank)
  16. Subway tokens (way dead)
  17. The Rolodex (I haven't had one in 5+ years but still on the desk of many 50-something lawyers, no doubt)

    A more focused question for this blog might be items that were once commonplace in legal practice, but are now dead or well on the way to dying.  Here are a few off the top of my head:

       1. Checks: Many people under the age of 30 have never written a check in their lives, and probably never will.
       2. Courier services: At some point, lawyers will stop paying people to drive pieces of paper around in cars or on bikes.
       3. Desktop computers: Just a matter of time on these. I predict the legal field will be desktop-free at some point in the not-too-distant future.
       4. Paper time sheets

    Lawyers, please weigh in: What are some other now obsolete or soon-to-be obsolete items in the legal world?

      Posted by Bruce Carton on December 23, 2009 at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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