See this issue's cover story on social media and the law.
Not so long ago, conferences for legal professionals were like hubs for Blackberries. The devices, which were among the first smartphones, became a favorite in the field and allowed busy lawyers to stay connected and accessible via e-mail when they couldn’t be in the office. The value was obvious, especially for in-house attorneys who often juggle duties on both the legal and business sides of operations. Today, however, a new device has started to invade the Blackberry’s turf: Apple’s iPad.
The device’s release marked an increase in popularity among tablets across the board, and the legal community, in particular, embraced the products, which offers the advantages and capabilities of a laptop with portability similar to a smartphone.
Matt McInerny, director of development and professional services at Advanced Productivity Software, points to features like automatic on, which allows the screen to sleep to conserve power, but “wake” almost immediately, and the portable form as reasons why tablets have found such a following among busy legal professionals. The most important thing, however, is ease of use, he says.
“You don’t have to train anybody to use an iPad,” McInerny says. “You could give it to a 2-year-old and they can flip through and resize pictures and look at a whole photo album without any training. That’s important when you have busy professionals. They don’t want to have to carve out a half an hour or an hour of their time to learn something. It should just be natural.”