The LegalBoard Consumer Review

Ever find yourself wasting time, and getting incredibly annoyed, every time you need to add a section or paragraph symbol in an email, brief, or motion? We’ve all created shortcut keys for these symbols in the past, but they don’t always work in email and they often get stripped every time IT upgrades software or changes my settings.

I’ve always thought that there must be an easier way, and now someone has finally come up with one: the LegalBoard.

LegalBoard is a desktop computer keyboard that has its keys programmed for the symbols and functionality we regularly use in our daily legal practice. Whether you’re in private practice or in-house, LegalBoard saves you time and allows you to work without interruption to insert symbols, footnotes, comments, and common legal reference cites. Additionally, LegalBoard has keys that automatically insert common party names. All of this functionality means you can work more efficiently and without disruption.

How LegalBoard Works

LegalBoard is a traditional keyboard that has pre-programmed keys that work with all Microsoft Windows products, including Word and Outlook. It works in both web based systems as well as the traditionally installed Microsoft products. This means that, unlike most shortcut keys, you do not need to consistently reprogram for different programs or every time there’s an upgrade. Simply plug the keyboard into any USB drive, and it is ready to go.

Using the LegalBoard is almost as easy as installing it. In addition to having keys for the section and paragraph symbols, it allows users to use a key to insert a footnote or comment, and by hitting “Shift” and the footnote or comment key, toggling from the footnote or comment back to where I was in the text is seamless. It allows me to, for example, insert a bullet, change the line spacing and turn track changes on and off with a simple keystroke.

The shortcuts are located where the F1 through F12 keys are, and also in the number pad, and therefore are easy to find. The number pad still works when the keyboard is not in legal mode. The legal keys include italics, underline, bold, find, footnote, comment, small caps, bullet, track changes, line spacing, the section, paragraph, and copyright symbols, and numerous commonly used words and citations. Having all of these accessible with a single keystroke cuts the amount of time needed to write a document. It no longer takes a long process to find and insert a single symbol, and my train of thought isn’t continuously disrupted. I am much more focused and productive.

I also appreciate how I did not lose the functionality of a standard keyboard since the LegalBoard allows me to toggle between the standard mode and legal mode whenever I’d like.

Any Drawbacks?

Not really. Once you learn where the shortcut keys are on the keyboard, the LegalBoard is quite simple. After 5 minutes of playing around, I became familiar and was able to immediately start benefiting from it. And the well-labeled keys make using it intuitive and easy.

Who Should Buy It?

Any legal professional will benefit from this product. Litigators will especially appreciate the citations, symbols, and footnote capabilities. Contract and real estate professionals will like the ability to easily insert bullets and comments without disruption. And in-house counsel who, like me, are asked to do all of these things, will benefit from the wide range of functionality. Having a key for each of the many functions and symbols I use regularly makes writing easier and quicker, which really appealed to me (in fact, I was impressed enough to make a small investment in the company).

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