Holiday gift ideas for the mobile attorney

By Nicole Black

The Daily Record Newswire

For those of you wondering what gifts to get the tech-savvy attorney in your life, look no further.

If you're seeking gift ideas for attorneys seeking mobility and flexibility, you're in luck this holiday season -- there are a number of great tools available that make it all the more easier to get work done no matter where you are.

First, if the attorney doesn't already have a smart phone, or is due for an upgrade, there are two obvious choices: an iPhone 4 or an Android phone.

These two phones are taking over the smart phone market, and in my opinion, are the only ones worthy of attention right now.

Word out on the street is that Sprint's EVO 4G is the best of the Android phones and gives you access to Sprint's 4G network, assuming that it's available in your area.

If you choose to buy an iPhone for your tech-savvy attorney, make sure to pre-load it with the following apps, all of which make it easy to work from any location: 1) Dropbox, a free app that allows you to store your documents in the Cloud; 2) Dragon Dictation, a free app that enables surprisingly accurate voice to text transcription; 3) the Fastcase app, a free app that provides you full access to their entire case law database so that you can conduct legal research on the fly; 4) The ABA Journal's free app that aggregates their very informative blog posts; and 5) Yap voicemail, a free app that improves the iPhone's native voice mail system.

Next up, forego an eReader and invest in a tablet computer.

In my opinion, within the next two years, single function eReaders will be replaced by tablet computers, which offer the added benefit of being a fully functional computer that also runs eReader apps.

If you're not an Apple fanatic, then the newly released Android tablet, theSamsung Galaxy Tab, is a good choice.

And, if you're willing to wait, the much-awaited Motorola MOTOPAD, the "official" Google tablet that will run Android 3.0, is expected to be released in 2011.

However, if you settle on the iPad, the best tablet available right now in my opinion, make sure to pre-load it with these apps: 1) Dropbox, a free app discussed above; 2) Goodreader, a $2.99 app that makes storing, accessing and marking up PDFs a piece of cake; 3) Evernote, a free app that allows you to collect, store and easily access notes, images and more; 4) the free Kindle app, which turns your iPad into an eReader; and 5) Desktop Connect, a $14.99 app that facilitates remote access to your desktop computer.

Another must-have for the road warrior attorney is a personal mifi device.

These small devices, most of which are the size of a credit card, provide you with a personal hotspot via a 3G or 4G data network that up to 5 devices can connect to at one time.

I use Verizon's Mifi, which costs $60 per month. Other options include Sprint's Novatel device for $60 per month and AT&T's MiFi 2372, which was just rolled out in November and data access costs $50 per month.

Finally, if your mobile lawyer doesn't already have one, a Netflix subscription is in order.

Live streaming video over the Internet is the wave of the future and will soon largely replace all other ways of accessing and viewing movies.

Netflix apps are available for most smart phones and tablet computers, making it possible to stream movies no matter where you are.

Nicole Black is of counsel to Fiandach andFiandach in Rochester.

She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at nblack@nicoleblackesq.com.

Published: Thu, Dec 16, 2010

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