I’ve used my iPad for about a year now. It has changed the way I practice law—mostly for the better. Here’s my list of top 10 iPad apps for lawyers:
1. GoodReader. I recently appeared at a motion hearing where I was opposing a motion for summary judgment. Before the hearing, I was able to download all of my motion papers (as well as my opponents) all in GoodReader. I then sorted the motion papers into their own named files, and even bookmarked all exhibit and declaration pages so I could retrieve them quickly, if needed. I appeared at the hearing and relied solely on a blank legal pad, pen, and GoodReader. I found it much easier to find the documents or moving papers I was looking for in GoodReader, rather than fumbling with a thick file trying to find that one sentence in a declaration I needed to support one of my arguments. It may take some getting used to, but GoodReader makes it easy to find the documents and papers you need quickly during a court appearance.
2. Outliner. I use Outliner all the time—in client meetings, preparing for trial, taking and defending depositions, etc. I don’t know how I did depositions before Outliner. When defending a deposition I simply take notes of all issues the opposing attorney is going into when questioning my client. Timelines are simple to complete by using a function in Outliner that allows you to rearrange the outline as you take notes. If the opposing attorney jumps back to a different topic and date out of order, it is simple to start a new line item and then quickly move it to the place in the timeline where it should appear. After my client’s deposition is completed, I have a beautiful outline of the areas that I will see again at trial. This is a versatile app and well worth it.
3. Penultimate. There are other handwriting apps out there, but I use Penultimate. When I’m in a hearing and the court gives me the next hearing date, time, department, and reason for the hearing, I simply jot those items down with my finger as a pen. I then hit the email function and send the new hearing information immediately to my assistant who opens the email and adds the new information to my litigation calendar. Done. Now I don’t worry as much as I used to about missing a hearing because I forgot to enter it into my calendar when I got back to my office (due to being barraged by phone calls, clients, etc., when I get back from court). You can also use this app to take simple notes. I use Outliner for more detailed notes.
4. NewsRack. I use NewsRack to keep track of my favorite blogs. You can follow my blog on NewsRack as well.
5. Twitterrific. I use Twitterrific as my Twitter client. I am able to filter my message types into individual folders, i.e., Legal, News, Blogs, etc.
6. Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. I use all three. I plan on using Keynote for an upcoming bench trial.
7. Instapaper. I rarely use Instapaper to save web pages for offline reading at a later time (i.e., in an airplane). But I really enjoy reading the “Editor’s Picks” folder. I recent went on a cruise and ended up reading obscure articles out of the “Editor’s Picks” folder that I never would have read, but for Instapaper. I now have all kinds of interesting topics to raise at my next cocktail party.
8. Pandora. I recently heard a song by Neil Young and loved it. I have not listened to many songs by Neil Young. Pandora changed that. I selected the “Neil Young” station in Pandora and was treated to many other songs by Neil Young and his contemporaries. Best of all, it’s free.
9. iAnnotate PDF. My paralegal sent me a brief that I opened in iAnnotate PDF. I was able to make comments on the brief and email them back to my paralegal. She made all the changes and it was sitting on my desk ready to sign when I got back to my office. I also use this app to review long deposition transcripts. You can mark them up as you go. Nice app.
10. Friendly for Facebook. I didn’t like using the iPhone Facebook app. So I downloaded Friendly for Facebook for iPad and I love it.
That’s my top 10 iPad Apps for Lawyers. Let me know your favorite apps.