Right now on eBay and Amazon you can pick up the newest Apple iPad, loaded with memory or perhaps with a detachable keyboard for on the go typing. Its long battery life and wifi accessibility have led some to abandon their desktops and laptops entirely. Should lawyers and paralegals get rid of their trusted Macs, Dells, and HPs for these easily portable app machines?
Generally, the answer depends on the manner in which it will be used. Some are calling the tablet revolution the end of the PC while recent numbers seem to show the PC market hanging in there. Tablets may finally pass PCs this year, but even so their sales numbers will likely be almost equal.
Realistically, there are limits to both the heavy PC and the nimble iPad. However, for many attorneys the iPad has a set of distinct advantages. With such a tablet, the iPad can easily be stored in a vehicle or suitcase and brought wherever needed. Its light weight and size makes it an easier companion than even the lightest laptops. Its ease and use of microphones for recording important testimony makes it almost indispensable when having that first consultation with a client.
Furthermore, as a repository of information, it is often second to none. Vital parts of law codes and case study can be transformed into ebooks and PDF files for easy transport. It’s much easier to pull up a file and glide your finger across the screen to get to a certain page. Beyond that, it is very simple to use the search function to find relevant names or phrases. It’s also a great device to keep all of your contacts and enables you to make Skype or Google talk calls wherever there is wifi or if you have a tethering plan on your cell phone.
The use in the courtroom is second to none. You will be able to use it to show important documents and spreadsheets. You can project an important medical bill on a screen for the jury to see. There are also methods to sign important documents and then immediately email them. The use of the iPad for conference calls or video chat is also second to none.
The future is moving into a high-tech era where those in the law field that adapt the best and the quickest will excel. Those that rely on hundreds of pages of documents and that cannot easily transmit vital documents will be using valuable time on obsolete technology. Which side are you going to land on?