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The iPad for Today’s Legal Professional

September 16, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell defines the tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” The iPad won’t likely replace laptops or desktop computers for businesses tomorrow, but they are definitely reaching their tipping point. As a result, iPads are indeed reaching a new level in today’s legal world as well. It fulfills the need caused by the merging of economic, technological and professional changes taking place in our world today. From client communication to trial presentation, from reading and marking up depositions on a plane to Skyping with a client across the globe, the iPad has changed the way lawyers do business. It is allowing them to become more nimble, mobile, responsive and productive.

Here are some of the use cases and areas you might research on behalf of the legal professionals you support in your firm:

Carry rule and procedure books to the courthouse for trials and hearings – The iPad can store manuals and thousands of other legal reference books all on a light, easy-to-read device.

Read and mark up case law, pleadings, discovery, contracts, transaction papers or other documents – The iPad is a great tool for reading PDF files; or most any file. There are also applications that annotate and mark up files. And, documents can be signed or presented to clients for their signature – all right on the iPad.

Select juries or present evidence at hearings or trials – Now available are many applications for the iPad that help with jury selection. The device can also be connected to a projector to show exhibits to a judge or jury in court.

Hold telephone conferences with clients, opposing counsel or others – With the iPad, those teleconferences turn into face-to-face video conferences. The iPad 2’s camera will likely spawn a number of meeting applications for this purpose.

Popular legal-specific iPad applications often recommended:

Trial Applications:
– TrialPad
– RLTC Evidence
– Exhibit A
– Jury Tracker
– iJuror
– Jury Duty

Legal Research Applications:
– Fastcase

Pre-Trial Applications:
– The Deponent App
– iPleading
– Mobile Transcript for iPad

Reference Applications:
– Black’s Law Dictionary
– LawStack
– LawBox

For more information about how lawyers are using iPads in their law practices, check out the following blogs: Tablet Legal (www.tabletlegal.com), iPadLawyer (www.ipadlawyer.co.uk), iPad Notebook (www.ipadnotebook.wordpress.com).

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