How Lawyers Could Use the iPad

alternative Blog title post: “Tell You What I want, What I Really Really Really Want…”

Okay, imagine this.

You are sat around the board room table in a commercial meeting, or at a desk with your client.

Perhaps you are running a collaborative law meeting.

Imagine if you each had an iPad in front of you. On my iPad is an illustration or graph that I want to share with the other people in the meeting.

I open the file on my screen and flick it in the direction of those I want to share it with. It then transfers by bluetooth or some similar magic onto their iPad.

Someone else wants to refer to an earlier letter, so they open up their document and we can all see what is being referred to.

We have a successful session and want to draw up heads of agreement there and then so we work collaboratively on the document right there.

Or the meeting is not quite that successful and so we need to go away and reconvene later.

What are our agreed progress points? What about action points? Who is going to do what? That can all be recorded, right there and then and diarised to all our synchronised diaires, with reminders, in a stroke.

What is more, all of this is recorded real time. What documents were referred to, which were shared with whom? Attendance notes can be created as we go through the session with no need for time consuming dictation afterwards.

The potential is vast. If someone comes up with this – synchronised iPad as a conference tool – I will find it very hard to resist the iPad. What is more law firms might see merit in providing iPads for clients – either at reduced rate or as a law firm branded merchandise.

I can’t wait to see what might happen…



Filed under General Technology, Law, Lawyers and Social Media

7 responses to “How Lawyers Could Use the iPad

  1. That’s thinking outside the box – ahead of the box, actually! The kind of thinking solicitors need if they’re to take advantage of the possibilities offered by technology and by law reforms such as Alternative Business Structures. I wish we could all be so keen to move with the times and make innovation work for us.

  2. Colmmu

    How about cutting out middle app and go for a bluelight touch sensitive tabletop, makes any surface an iPad environment. With the right use case would probably a more collaborative tool. I have a link somewhere for such tech. Also collaborative mindmapping with touch screen tech could be useful.

  3. Thanks for commenting.

    Innovation will, I believe, be a determining factor in the new market – and if it isn’t, so be it, the challenge is fun all the same.

    As for the table top tech, I once got close to putting a proposal to a white board firm about placing the white board on horizontal plane with ceiling mounted projector and such like.

    There was quite a stir about multi-touch tables back in 2006-7 as well. I wonder where that tech went to…

    Anyhow, a real pleasure to share some ideas. Looks like some folks over on Twitter liked the ideas as well.

    Developers… over to you.

  4. William van Zwanenberg

    Forgive me for saying this … But the iPad is not, a revolution product or some sort of major technical innovation. Sure it’s aesthetically beautiful, sure it has a nice interface, and sure the all ubber geeks out there love ’em – if only becuase they’re not running MS Windows, but there is *nothing*, reapeat *nothing* that can’t be done on just about any other tablet PC or simillar device. As result, the premise of this article, from my standpoint, really grates. The notion that the introduction of this product represents some huge conceptual paradigm shift/leap forward/(insert youre chosen metaphor) is frankly balls.

    Along comes some shiny new device, alongside Apple’s clever and slick marketing and we all rush out to buy it – believing that it heralds a new dawn. Some, indeed many, gullible lawyers as evidenced by the article have fallen for this crap.

    I will accept that given the technical superiority of the Mac OS, a good deal of task associated with tablet computing is set to beecome a lot easier , but that is only becuase MS softwware is so dreadful. That said however, those willing to look at the situation objectively and dispationately will quickly come to realise that there are many many really good open source applications and projects out there that achieve fantastically well the sorts of tasks lawyers will doubtless want
    to use their shiny new iPads for and which are entirely free to use!

    In fact, precisely because they are open-source, they are often technically superior to anything Apple is making available and will continue to be so irrespective of what Apple does next.

    I have a lot of respect for Steve Jobs and I love the Mac platform but I do wish people would stop genuflecting on the guy and trating him as though he were some sort of messiah.

  5. colmmu

    I agree with a number of the things stated above, there are a number of things about the iPad that grate, I’m not impressed by the way Apple are attacking the developer market with their approach, biting the hand that helped build you seems wrong.

    Anyway, back to my point about turning any surface into an interactive surface, which I think is the point of the article. Here is the technology I mentioned:

  6. Okay, its starting to get warm in here!

    I am not an Apple fan.

    At all.

    I have a Dell laptop.

    I don’t even have an iPhone. I love my HTC Hero android phone.

    As I mentioned above I previously toyed with whiteboards on a horizontal plane.

    I loved the multi-touch table tops (game tables) that were around a few years ago.

    There was that guy who did amazing things with a Wii remote controller, an LED and optic that turned any surface, brilliantly, into a suitably useful screen.

    I don’t get iPad. I think the idea of sweeping across a large pad is dumb. It makes sense with your thumb on your smart phone, but why do I want to wipe across the whole screen?

    I don’t even want the iPad for itself.

    But do you know what? If I can flick my doc, from my pick up and go iPad, or tablet, or anything, and put it onto yours, keep a real time record of docs that we look at, seamlessly record dates in diaries and the like, all from one running application, then I will buy the tech that is on.

    My guess is that given Apple’s famed (hyped?) user interfaces that the iPad is where this tech will become most readily available.

    And thanks for the light blue optics thing. that could be getting there if you could synch several together.

  7. Pingback: The iPad and legal practice | Work/Life/Law

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