Apple released the fourth generation iPad at the start of November, 2012. I have had many attorneys ask me if they should get an iPad and if so, what will it do for them. Others who own iPads ask me how they can use their iPads in their law practice.
An iPad can be a wonderful device to use, but it does not replace your pc or laptop. It supplements your pc and/or laptop, along with your smartphone. The most basic use of an iPad is for email and internet browsing. Due to the 9.7″ screen size and the retina display, using the device makes emailing and reviewing documents much nicer than using a smartphone.
Whether you own an iPad or are thinking about purchasing one, there are several Apps for the iPad that can be used in your law practice.
Documents to Go App ($9.99/$16.99)
Documents to Go was developed by DataViz. DataViz has been developing apps for over 13 years since the Palm. Documents to Go is used to create and edit Word and Excel documents. DataViz uses an engine called Intact Technology that is able to take a document from Microsoft Word or Excel that you have created on your pc and edit it on the iPad. When you transfer the document back to your pc, all of the formatting will be retained. You can view your PowerPoint presentations and if you own the Premium Edition of Documents to Go you can edit the presentation. Docments to Go synchronizes to the Cloud if you have the Premium Edition. Documents to Go is a must if you own an iPad.
Slideshark App (Free)
Slideshark is an ABA Approved presentation software. It is the #1 rated App in the iStore. You would create a presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint on your pc and then transfer via the Internet the presentation to your iPad. Slideshark has a presenter mode, so you can see the previous two slides your presented and the next two upcoming slides. Slideshark works with Airplay. Slideshark wirelessly transfers the slideshow to your device. For example, you can connect an Apple TV device to a projector and using Airplay, wirelessly show your slide presentation.
Dragon Dictation App (Free)
Dragon Dictation is developed by Nuance and is powered by Dragon Naturally Speaking. The Dragon Dictation App is 99% accurate. You can speak and dictate into Dragon Dictation and it will transcribe your voice to text. You can copy and paste the text into Documents to Go, Email, whatever. Your text is transcribed in the Cloud so you need an Internet connection to use it.
Adobe Reader App (Free)
The Adobe Reader App is made by Adobe. The Adobe Reader App works better that Apple Reader. Adobe Reader App works similar to the desktop edition. One of the advantages over Apple Reader is that Adobe Reader allows you to jump to specific pages and renders images and text better. Adobe Reader is a must if you own an iPad.
Upad App ($4.99)
Upad allows you to take notes during a meeting, save the notes as a pdf file and email them back to yourself. Upad is also a great tool to mark up pdf files. You can email a pdf file to yourself, save it in Upad, and then using the highlighter or pen feature in Upad, mark up the document. You can then save it as a pdf with the changes and email it to yourself. Upad is one of my favorite Apps!
2X Client App (Free)
2X Client is a utility app used for remote access to your desktop pc at the office. You can setup 2X Client with your office pc credentials and use is for remote access to the office. Beware that all of your touch features will not work when using remote access. You will need to use the built in mouse within the 2X Client to move around your desktop. 2X Client is a good utility app to have configured if you are in a bind and need to access your pc at work and only have your iPad with you. 2X Client requires an Internet connection.
Google Chrome App (Free)
Google Chrome is Google’s browser. It is an alternative browser that has the ability to synchronize bookmarks passwords and last page visited between devices. If you use Google Chrome at your office and have it on your iPad, when you access Google Chrome on either device you are able to pick up where you left off and access your last opened tab.
iSlips App ($64.99)
iSlips was created by a former Sage/Timeslips Programmer. iSlips allows you to enter time and expense slips onto your iPhone or iPad and synchronize the slips wired or wirelessly to Timeslips on your pc. iSlips is a great tool to capture your time.
ABA Journal App (Free)
The ABA Journal is offered as an App. The ABA Journal will update throughout the day with the latest headlines. It features blogs and you are able to access past editions of the journal. Requires an Internet connection.
Fastcase App (Free)
Fastcase is a legal research engine. Fastcase allows you to search Federal statutes and regulations and state statutes and regulations. All states are available with the exception of Pennsylvania. PA is excluded from inside the app, but directs you to a website that will allow you to search PA statutes and regulations for no charge. Fastcase requires an Internet connection.
Lawstack App (Free)
Lawstack allows you to search federal codes and regulations, along with the U.S. Constitution. You can purchase different states regulations; however, PA is not available. Lawstack can be used offline and does not require an Internet connection when searching.
Lexis Advance HD App (Subscription Req’d)
Lexis Advance HD is a LexisNexis product. A subscription to LexisNexis is required. The App is used to access the LexisNexis research portal. You can synchronize your searches between your pc and iPad. You can pick up where you left off on your last search from either device. App designed for use on a tablet so it is “touch” friendly.
Westlaw Next App (Subscription Req’d)
Westlaw Next is a Thomson Reuters product. The App is used to access Westlaw online research. You can download documents for off line use and email documents to colleagues or yourself. You can retrieve your search histories.
Westlaw Proview App (Must purchase books – App Free)
Westlaw Proview is a Thomson Reuters product. Westlaw Proview is used to access legal books for federal codes and state laws, etc. You will be updated electronically. No internet connection is required. You can use the books offline. You are able to highlight text and change the font and size to make it easier to read.
Westlaw Portfolio App (Free)
Westlaw Portfolio is a Thomson Reuters product. Westlaw Portfolio is an electronic magazine. The magazine will interactively update with the latest headlines and trends.
FedCtRecords App ($9.99)
FedCtRecords App is used to access Federal court docket. Your pacer login credentials are needed to access this information. After you download the App, you can view any information that is on the Federal court docket, such as, deadlines, other attorneys, and case summary. There is a separate app for bankruptcy court.
Rulebook App (Free)
Rulebook is used to access Federal rules and the U.S. Constitution. It allows you to access the Bluebook. You can purchase states statutes and regulations. PA is available.
Docketlaw App (Subscription Req’d)
Docketlaw is an App that monitors court calendars. It will update the calendar and change th dates as the courts make changes. Docketlaw works with the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County. Docketlaw calculates dates based on a specific trigger. Ex: Motion Filed. It would give you the following due dates or deadlines. If the court closes, it updates all of your dates.
iJury App ($14.99)
iJury profiles jurors during jury selection. iJury breaks down the jury based on sex, race, age, and ranks the jurors according to a scoring system. It has predefined questions based on the case type and you can add or change questions. You can export the data to your email.
Exhibit A App ($9.99)
Exhibit A is a presentation software designed for attorneys. You can annotate and markup exhibits in real time in front of a jury. Exhibit A has limited document types that the software is able to review.(pdf, tif, jpg, png). Exhibit A works with Airplay.
Trialpad App ($89.99)
Trialpad was developed by litigation professionals. Trailpad is a litigation software app that supports 18 different file types. You can perform multiple call outs on documents and multiple annotations. You can display two documents at the same time and mark them up independently. There is a laser pointer built in and there are Exhibit stickers. You can edit video in real time mode. Trialpad is a pricey App, but receives extremely high ratings by TechnoLawyer and other publications.
Read about safeguarding your mobile devices here.
Published in the December 2012 issue of Pennsylvania Family Lawyer.