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iPad For Lawyers

As of December 2011, before the release of the “New iPad,” Apple had reportedly sold 55.28 million iPads. With the recent release of the iPad 3, those numbers have undoubtedly continued to rise. If you are amongst those numbers, and also a practicing attorney, you might might want to consider the possibilities of using your iPad to improve your law practice. Indeed, the possibilities for using the iPad to make your practice more efficient, more portable, and more efficient are numerous. I’ve personally used it when taking depositions (made easier when paired with a slim Bluetooth Keyboard), managing case files, drafting blog posts, dictating notes, reviewing files in the back of a court room, and reviewing documents on the go. With the release of the New iPad, it seems like a good time to take a look at the tools that make this possible.

Legal Research
Amongst the many free apps we previously reviewed here, we included FastCase, Lexis Advance HD and Westlaw Next. Of the three only FastCase is truly free, but it’s also the most limited in scope. Nonetheless, it does provide iPad access to a free law library incorporating case law for all 50 states and access to statutes for most states and the federal government. If you already subscribe to Lexis or Westlaw, you can use Westlaw Next or Lexis Advance HD to access the full suite of legal research databases available through those providers.

Case Management
I’ve recommended Evernote for case management and file handling for some time now, but not without good reason. The program was an eye-opener for me, offering endless possibilities for efficient file handling. When you install the app on your iPad and pair that with the companion program for your work computer, you have the opportunity to conveniently access the notes you’ve saved and case files you’ve stored on your Evernote, wherever you are in the world. Not only that, as I mentioned in my post about free iPad apps, Evernote allows you to store your case files in the cloud and easily search those files from any location. Evernote also allows you to create and format documents. Evernote allows you record dictated messages. It’s very powerful.

Document Creation
If you do require more flexibility in creating documents on your iPad (for example because you want to create .doc files on the go) then the Documents To Go – Office Suite ($9.99) may be your best bet. It provides you with the ability to view, edit and create Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel files on your iPad. You can also view Power Point files, Rich text files, and basic text files using the app. Note: at the time of writing DataViz, the maker of the app, reports that there are some glitches related to the “New iPad.” They also report that they are aware of those issues and are working to correct them as soon as possible.

Document Viewers
Goodreader may be the most popular document reader for the iPad. In fact, it is easily one of the most popular iPad apps in general for attorneys with an iPad. It can read most any file type, including PDF files, and easily integrates with cloud based applications such as MobileMe,, Dropbox, Google Docs, mailservers, and so forth. Fans of the app use it for nearly everything including case management.

Jury Selection
There are even apps such as iJuror that help you organize the process of jury selection. The app allows you to create profiles for each of the potential jurors in voir dire and keep detailed notes for each juror in an easy to use interface. Next time you can leave the post-it notes at the office.

Legal Pad
Replace your yellow legal pad with your iPad courtesy of the handwriting app Penultimate ($0.99). This app allows you to scrawl handwritten notes on your iPad helping you taking notes on the go during a deposition, site inspection, trial, etc.

Calculate Court Days
Several apps in the App Store make it easy to calculate deadlines on your iPad. The most popular of these apps is Court Days Pro which offers rules-based calendaring. Once you choose an event (such as a motion’s hearing date) the app provides a list of corresponding events and dates such as last day to file moving papers, opposition, etc. It defaults to include a list of all federal holidays, but can be customized to remove or add other holidays as necessary.

Which apps do you use? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section.

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