Lawyer at Light Speed: How has the iPad changed the way I practice law

Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad in San F...

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I’ve had my iPad less than a month and it has already changed the way I practice law.

First, it has become the key missing link to my GTD system.  I use Outlook as my desktop Calendar and task manager.     I have Outlook syncing to toodledo and the Toodledo – To Do List App on my iPad, my task list is always present and easy to interact with.

The iPad also keeps me productive in those long motion call court sessions.  The local court I practice in has motion hearings on Fridays.  My office is about 25 miles from the courthouse and on most Fridays I do not get a chance to go into the office.  The iPad allows me to get important work done between hearings.  Here is a list of things I did last Friday at the Courthouse with my iPad

  • Drafted an order and emailed it to the Judges office, while still at the Courthouse.  I used the Plain Text app on the iPad to draft the order
  • Did a GTD mind sweep of all the outstanding things that were up in the air.  I also did my weekly review at the courthouse.
  • I reviewed some medical records on one of my personal injury cases.  I used the iAnnotate PDF app and can actually write any notes on the pdf.
  • I argued a Motion for Summary Judgment with only the iPad.  I download the file with Dropbox open all the pertinent documents up in iAnnotate in tabs.  I had previously reviewed the Motion, my response and the Defendant’s reply and annotated each with my argument points.
  • Over lunch, I read my Google reader rss feeds with a great app call flipboard. (You can just use the Google mobile app)
  • During the afternoon, I argued another motion using the same process as above.
  • I also worked on a mediation presentation using the Keynote app.  In my opinion the iPad will become the in court presentation tool of the Trial lawyer.  (I have not had the chance to use the iPad in trial yet but there is a great post on at MacLitigator.)

Actually, I fell a lot more productive on those motion day Fridays than I do most days at the office.

I have also used the iPad in two depositions.  My whole case file was on the iPad via Dropbox and  during my deposition preparation I opened up all the  key documents up in iAnnotate.  I took all my depostions notes with Notes Plus.  I was able to get to all my documents quickly and before the other lawyers could with their paper files.  During the deposition I ask the witness about a photograph.  I did not have a paper copy, but I showed the photo to all the attorneys and email it to a secretary who printed it and gave it to the court reporter who attached it to the deposition as an exhibit.

The best thing about my iPad is the ability to read anything I want at any time.  You can see my post on reading and the iPad here.

I do not think an iPad is a must, but I do believe, that some form of tablet will make you a more productive lawyer.

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7 responses to “Lawyer at Light Speed: How has the iPad changed the way I practice law

  1. A friend and fellow “Tweeter” sent this post along to me to read and I’m glad she did! This is a fantastic use of the iPad! I was a litigator in a specialized law firm like yourself, but have worked here now for several years. I am a huge fan as well of GTD and believe its perfect for us as lawyers. I couldn’t agree more with your post!
    I’ve met with lawyers across the southeast who have brought their iPad to trial with them. They introduced me to the competiting app of iAnnotate called GoodReader. Also very good and integrates with Dropbox, Gmail, FTP servers, URL’s, etc. They’ll use the iPad Camera Connector to hook the iPad up to the courtroom projector and combine GoodReader to show specific sections of the deposition transcripts to the witness and Keynote to scroll through photo exhibits. I was once presenting at a firm on the iPad in Keynote and they all went crazy with how wild my integration of technology and law was that they all wanted to go out and buy one. One interesting note about Keynote: if you hold your finger down on a slide, it makes it look like you’re shining a laser pointer on the screen! It’s so cool!
    Do you also use Evernote to manage all of your reference files? If not, that may be your only missing piece to your awesome setup!! I blog often about productivity, presentations (and sometimes the law). You might find something you like.
    Thanks again for the great post!

  2. Daniel,
    Thanks for the comment. I do use Evernote on a daily basis. I have also read your posts about Evernote and your recent move to Springpad. I also use Springpad for some of my GTD lists (My to read List) and and to manage alot of things with a non-profit that I run http://www.elkhorncity,org.

  3. Thanks, Tim, and glad to hear you’ve seen my posts! Don’t tell Springpad, but I realized the value of simplicity by going to Springpad and applied those lessons to my Evernote system. My Evernote setup is much cleaner now! I now use Springpad for things like recipes, restaurants, books I want to read (like you) and beers I like. Evernote’s robust search & tag engine (plus OCR recognition still can’t be beat). There’s room for both for sure!

  4. Thanks for sharing how your iPad is working in your practice. When it comes to trial presentation with the iPad, there are three new apps worth looking into. They are TrialPad, Evidence and Exhibit A. In-depth reviews are available at http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/ and on Law.com at http://www.law.com/jsp/lawtechnologynews/PubArticleLTN.jsp?id=1202481445986&Exhibit_A_Another_iPad_App_for_Trial_Presentation

  5. Pingback: Lawyer at Light Speed: How has the iPad changed the way I practice law | Apple Ipad

  6. Great post! I’m an official representative of TrialPad, and we’re extremely excited to see how the iPad is being integrated as a business tool, especially in the legal field. It’s no fad – the iPad is on the way to becoming a powerful tool for attorneys in and out of the courtroom.

    We developed TrialPad for iPad for the legal profession to help them organize, manage and annotate their documents for easy electronic presentation of evidence. We’ve had great feedback from attorneys and paralegals who have used TrialPad in mediation as well as trial. Some important features of our app allow you to create separate case folders, create folders within those cases to help you organize and sort important documents, and dynamically annotate and present evidence electronically. You’ll find that our app has simple, yet significant features specific to attorneys to improve efficiency and effectiveness. That’s because TrialPad was developed by litigation professionals, and tailored to be used by litigators, trial teams, and litigation support staff as well as expert witnesses. You can import documents from Dropbox, e-mail, iTunes, or from other quality apps. Then simply plug-and-play in court. It’s that easy!

    Like I said, we’re truly excited to see that attorneys are recognizing the value an iPad has to offer in their every day practice. And we’re proud to be a part of it.

  7. Pingback: A Day in the Life of an iPad Lawyer | Law Practice Management Section / Law Practice Magazine Board « lennyesq

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