It seems these days that the Apple iPad is everywhere. It provides a highly portable and useful tool for trusts and estates professionals. As stated by Brett Burney in “The Best iPad Stylus For Small Law Firms” (TechnoLawyer 1/19/12):

“Perhaps the chief criticism of the iPad is that it's better suited for the ‘consumption’ of information (e.g., reading books) rather than the 'creation' of information (e.g., editing documents). I'll leave this debate for others to argue, but even if correct it's not necessarily a bad thing.”

As lawyers, we have to consume and ingest a tremendous amount of information every day, which the iPad can help streamline.

The iPad is quickly becoming the main portable computer for many professionals. While the iPad 2 is still being offered, in March 2012 the third generation of the iPad was introduced. It’s described on the Apple iPad web page. See the reviews by Jason Hiner at “Apple's third-gen iPad” (TechRepublic, 3/7/2012) and Barrett, “iPad 3 Announced: New Tools for Lawyers” (TabletLegal 3/7/2012 scroll down).

Retaining the iPad2 means that there’s now an iPad in every price range (8 in all), from the iPad 2 for $399, to the the newest iPad for $829. The differences are the amount of storage space and optional cellular connectivity. The new iPad has more storage options; 16g 32g and 64g. The Ipad 2 offers only 16g.

The ability to connect to a cellular network adds about $130 to the cost. This also requires a wireless carrier contract with ATT, Verizon or Sprint. The iPad 2 uses the 3G network, while the new iPad takes advantage of the 4G LTE network, allowing for faster video streaming and higher quality video conferencing.

Improvements present in the new iPad come mainly in three areas. The processor is the new and improved two-core A5X. The “retina” display adds noticeable viewing clarity with a 2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch. See Ryan, “iPad 3ed-gen first impressions” (gdgt, 3/7/2012) for a discussion of the advantages of the Retina Display. Also, the 5 mp camera offers HD photos and video (1080p) with impressively effective stabilization when recording. Because of the important camera improvements, iLife programs like iPhoto and iMovie are now relevant and included.


Lawyering Resources for the iPad

In exploring the iPad you should start with Glover, “The iPad as an indispensible Lawyering Tool” (Lawyerist.com, 4/12/2011). A number of iPad resources are discussed on the OSXDaily website, iPad Category. iPad resources in general are also listed and discussed at OSXDaily.

Many useful iPad and iPhone Apps are available for lawyers. See Barrett, “60 Apps in 60 Minutes 2012: ABA TechShow” and “Just Two” (TabletLegal 3/8/2012) for his take on the basic apps useful for lawyers (suggesting PDF Expert, Notesy, Keynote and CloudOn). Find out what they consider are the top apps for iPod, iPad and iPhone in: The Mac Lawyer, About.com and Hirsch, “5 Apps for the lawyer” (Tuaw, 8/6/2009). The top five iPhone apps for lawyers are also listed at The Lawyerist.

The Tablet Legal Archive contains many useful articles on the iPad resources for lawyers and “Best iPad Apps for Lawyers” (The Greatest American Lawyer) lists a number of links to useful apps. See, “Jason Hiner's 22 most useful iPad apps” (TechRepublic, 3/14/2012) emphasizing apps for professionals.

Macsinlaw.com discusses iPads and makes suggestions for their use at Category:iPad. Uses and apps for the iPhone are discussed at the Category:iPhone web page of Macsinlaw.com. Finis Price, iPad ESQ also offers recommended iPad apps.

T. Mighell, “IPad In One Hour for Lawyers” (ABA 2011), is a great practical resource to get up to speed swiftly on the iPad. It includes a listing of the best apps for lawyers, as well as dozens of keyboard and browser tips, shortcuts and much more. Its lessons present the essentials on how to quickly navigate and use the iPad user interface, set up mail, calendar, and contacts, create and use folders to multitask and manage apps, add files to your iPad and sync them, view and manage pleadings, case law, contracts and other Legal Documents, use your iPad to take notes and create documents and use legal-specific apps at trial or in doing research.

Tom Mighell’s blog, IPAD 4 LAWYERS, is intended as a companion site for the book. It provides the latest tips, tricks on using the iPad and reviews of apps that lawyers can use to be more productive. Mighell, “The iPad for Lawyers: End of the PC?” (attorneyatwork 3/28/2011) and other posts by Tom Mighell about working with the iPad, including “The iPad for Lawyers – All About Apps,” (CBA CLE Legal Connection) discuss word processing, document reading and lawyer specific apps.

The Off site law tech center, The iPad Lawyer blog includes coverage of iPad basics, Acrobat and GoodReader, organizing with PDF bookmarks, using the iPad to create an ultra portable law library, having your iPad take dictation and word processing with the iPad. Nicole Black’s Legal iPad blog and Facebook page are also helpful resources. See, Black, “iPads for Lawyers” (Sui Generis—a New York law blog) for suggestions for beginning with an iPad. Payne, “How the iPad Can Increase Lawyers’ Productivity” (LTN Law Technology News 6/13/2011 – Lexis/Nexis subscribers only) is another useful resource.

Hoole, “iPad Apps to Boost Productivity in Your Law Office” (Law Technology News, 1/26/2012) discusses the use of the iPad in law offices and reviews some general and law related apps, including document storage, document editing, note taking and handwriting notes and delivery of legal journals to your iPad. Ben Stevens’ TheMacLawyer publishes highlights from the iPad for Lawyers Webinar that includes a list of useful Apps.


Other Useful Apps for T & E Professionals

Documents can be scanned into an iPad. See, Schramm, “Use iConvert to scan documents directly to your iPad” (Tuaw, 1/19/2012).

Keynote and a projector with video mirroring, such as the Apple VGA Adapter, makes the iPad great for presentations. SlideShark enables you to upload, view and share PowerPoint presentations on your iPad. See Salzman, “SlideShark: PowerPoint on the iPad” (USA Today, Technology Live, 11/2/2011) for more.

There are apps for the iPad that give you the ability to take notes directly into electronic storage. Note taking apps for the iPad, and styluses for note taking are discussed and analyzed in “iPad Note Taking Apps Showdown” (MacLitigator, 9/22/2011). See “iPad Note Taking Apps” (appadvice.com). Noteshelf offers a good balance between simplicity and functionality. Note, that you can export your notes as PDF files. The small law area of TechnoLawyer (registration required) includes articles by Brett Burney on features of the iPad relating to lawyers, including discussions of the best iPad stylus (an example is the Wacom Bamboo Stylus) and how to move documents from your iPad and back again.


Using the iPad

iPadmania discusses iPad use in general. See, Friedman, “Ten tips for mastering the iPad” (MacWorld, 3/7/2011).

IPADLAWYER discusses methods for transferring files to an iPad and syncing them.

Mossberg, “Working in Word, Excel, PowerPoint on an iPad” (Wall Street Journal, 1/12/2012), discusses OnLive Desktop that brings these programs to the iPad as Cloud based applications.

Wireless keyboards are available for the iPad, such as the Apple Wireless Keyboard. For information about how to connect the Apple keyboard see the You Tube video, Connecting Apple Wireless Keyboard to the iPad. Brandon’s “50 really useful iPad tips and tricks” (techradar.com 3/30/2011) suggests that the iPad will work with any wireless keyboard.

Gorman,Siri sort-of comes to the new iPad, notes that the new iPad includes voice dictation software. It's voice dictation that is accessible in messaging, email and third-party apps. Voice to text dictation for the iPad is discussed in “Review of PaperPort Notes: Voice to Text Dictation App for the iPad” (The Hytech Lawyer, 2/27/2012), with recommended techniques, and in “Review of 7Notes HD Premium –Handwriting to Text on iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire” (The HyTech Lawyer, 2/23/2012). “New,next generation iPad review” (MacLitigator, 3/16/2012) discusses the advantage of the ability to dictate in virtually every application that has text based entry.
Remarks: An iOS PDF Mark-up App With Something Different” (Advocate’s Studio, 2/3/2012) discusses a new PDF app designed for the iPad that is a fully featured PDF annotating application that even lets you highlight, underline, strikeout text and draw upon documents.


Bottom Line

Tablet computing offers many advantages for lawyers and other professionals. See the discussion in Hahn, “Tablet computers a hit with lawyers, judges” (stl.today.com 2/23/2011). The iPad is leading the way, although there will be competition later in 2012, when Microsoft and its manufacturing partners debut tablets running Windows 8.

*Brenda Kelley is a freelance photographer and filmmaker. She recently edited The Cubans, a book of photographs by Jack Combs. She also created the accompanying short film, “They Are Cuban” which accompanies the deluxe edition of the book. For more information, see http://documentaryphotographypress.com

Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley -- a respected connoisseur of software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.

Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of Intuitive Estate Planner Software (Thomson - West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at dhkelley@qwest.net.