Login | February 16, 2019

LegalBoard: Desktop and portable keyboards for lawyers

Technology for Lawyers

Published: January 12, 2018

People who spend their time typing legal documents probably have spent considerable effort wishing there was a keyboard that had shortcuts specifically designed for those docs.

Like when you have to stop what you’re doing and sift through Word to find a paragraph symbol or section symbol?

Well, now there’s a keyboard for all of you (us). It was designed by an attorney who had the same frustrations as the rest of us writing a brief or an e-discovery legal tech column.

The company is LegalBoard (https://www.legalkeyboards.com), it put out the desktop version of such a keyboard about a year ago, and has recently released a portable version. The desktop version is optimized for use in Word on a PC. The portable version, called LegalPad, is also Mac-compatible.

The desktop version basically replaces the numeric keyboard on the right side of most standard keyboards with default shortcuts to symbols that are used most often in legal writing. While retaining the numerals on the right side, the keyboard defaults to symbols. For instance, where the numeral “7” is placed on the number pad, that key defaults to the “section” symbol. The number “4” defaults to footnoting. And so forth.

The portable version is just a stand-alone, physical numeric/symbolic keypad that you can plug into another keyboard, tablet, phone, whatever.

Among other functions, the Legal Keyboard can create a footnote in which you can type what you want, and then toggle back to the main text. Other shortcuts include tracking changes; adding bullets; accessing the find function; adding section, paragraph and copyright symbols; turning italics, boldface and underlining on and off; and change line spacing, all with the touch of a button.

One-touch buttons can also add several words and phrases that attorneys use all the time, like court of appeals, plaintiff, appellant, show me the money, and so on (JK on the show me the money thing ha ha).

The developer is now apparently setting his sights on other professions for creating dedicated keyboards. Good for him.

The desktop Legal keyboard is available for $75 on the site. The portable version is about $60. A small price to pay, I think, and I didn’t even ask them for a review model.