Using An Ipad In The Practice Of Law

            Is the iPad just a toy, or does it have a place in the modern practice of law?

In the days just after the beginning of the New Year, I attended the American Association of Law Schools 2013 annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Among the various interesting programs was one entitled “IPad and IPhone Apps for Legal Practice.”  Jeffrey E Richardson, a partner in the New Orleans law firm of Adams and Reese enlightened the audience on this extremely timely topic.  Along with a busy legal practice, Richardson maintains a blog called iPhone JD: Lawyers Using IPhones and IPads.

Along with the more common apps, two apps that Richardson found particularly helpful are GoodNotes and GoodReader.

Richardson uses a bamboo stylus and GoodNotes, as the name suggests notetaking app, in this case for handwritten notes using a stylus.  One of the handy aspects of GoodNotes is that it has a magnified input field.  This means that writers don’t have to try to squeeze their handwriting into a tiny lined space on the iPad, rather they can open up two screens on the iPad the lower one of which magnifies your handwriting recognizing a workable size for writing with a stylus. The upper half of the screen reduces the text to a size where you can see many lines of writing.

GoodReader, is an app that allows users to store PDF files on your iPad.  Richardson downloads cases from LEXIS-NEXIS, files them on Dropbox, a cloud filing place, and then opens them on his iPad.  GoodReader also provides the ability to highlight relevant portions of cases..

As part of Richardson’s blog he provides an alphabetical index to the reviews that he has completed.

Those of you who are already using iPads should remember the Cornell Library’s array of online subscription databases   contain documents that can be downloaded not only onto computers but iPads, and Android equivalents. And remember, e-books in the Library collection can be downloaded onto your iPad for 14 days. .

And indeed access to Julien, the Cornell Library’s online catalog is available as smartphone version.  While not an app in the full sense of the word, you can set up an icon that can take you directly to Julien. Directions for Mobile Julien are available here.

             Carl Yirka