Lawyers can learn to use the iPad in one hour

By Correy Stephenson

The Daily Record Newswire

Recognizing the growing number of lawyers making use of tablet technology in the office and the courtroom, tech guru Tom Mighell has authored a new book: "iPad in One Hour for Lawyers."

Recently released by the American Bar Association, the book runs less than 100 pages and is chock-full of tips and apps for new as well as more advanced users.

Mighell starts at the beginning, addressing set-up and management for the iPad before moving on to lawyer-specific applications.

Some of the features included on the iPad are beneficial for attorneys, including the calendar and e-mail system, Mighell explains, but users will need to turn to iTunes for other apps.

To keep those purchased apps visible on the home screen, the book explains how to set up a folder system to organize apps by creating categories such as news, social and productivity.

Mighell also addresses the two means of transferring files onto an iPad, either via iTunes or cloud computing, and recommends Dropbox, a popular service to sync files online, for the latter.

After the first four chapters on setup and configuration, the book focuses on productivity on the iPad, dispelling the idea that it is better suited for consumption than creation of content. While the biggest criticism of the iPad is that it is better for reading books or watching movies than actually doing work, Mighell has recommendations for lawyers looking to write briefs or motions, or do other legal work.

For attorneys who plan to use the iPad for serious work purposes, Mighell suggests using a physical keyboard, a stand or a stylus.

Despite his own intention of using the iPad as a true tablet, Mighell said he learned the hard way that he couldn't take notes as fast as he could type and that his handwriting "is simply not good enough," so he now uses a stylus for quicker - and more legible - writing. For each exterior add-on, Mighell includes product recommendations in the book.

Mighell highlights the ease of reading on the iPad, and suggest apps that offer the ability to view various documents from PDFs to text files to Office and iWork documents.

In the final lesson, Mighell turns to lawyer-specific apps.

He provides quick reviews of jury selection applications - including iJuror - as well as TrialPad and Evidence, two different trial presentation apps.

Mighell concludes the book with a series of valuable appendices, which discuss configuring security settings and different finger moves to accomplish shortcuts. He also includes a "nonexclusive, nonexhaustive" list of the best iPad apps for lawyers, organized by category, including conferencing and meetings, productivity and, for when work is done, fun.

Given the constantly changing world of applications, Mighell promises to keep the list updated at his blog, a companion site to the book.

As the number of attorneys using the iPad continues to rise, Mighell's book offers needed guidance and provides lawyers with the groundwork to make the most of their iPad purchase both at work and at home (Angry Birds, anyone?).

Published: Mon, Jun 13, 2011

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