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.