Technology is a part of our lives -- there is no getting around it these days. In fact, at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago this last August, one of the proposed resolutions centered on mandating a certain amount of CLE to include technology related topics such as instruction on preservation, recovery and discovery of electronically stored information. While attendees generally thought such CLE was a good idea, the resolution ultimately failed because as one opponent stated “Lawyers HATE mandates.”
Regardless, as Young Lawyers we should embrace technology and make a concerted effort to take advantage of those technologies that can enhance our services and make our practices more efficient.
Below, you’ll find some worthy Apps as well as a CLE opportunity to incorporate or improve the use of social media in your practice.
Five Apps for Attorneys
I am admittedly pretty low-tech...for example, I still use a Blackberry... But word on the street is that there are a number of Apps and programs that are quite helpful to those with smart phones, iPads, droids, and the like. Here is a list of five cool Apps you may want to check out:
- Dragon Dictation (Free) - Purported to be an easy-to-use voice recognition application. With this app, you can easily speak and instantly see your text content for everything from email messages to blog posts on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Supposedly it is up to five times faster than typing on the keyboard.
- Dropbox (Free) - Dropbox is a cloud storage service. The Dropbox app allows you to use your iPad to access Word, Excel, PDF, and other documents that have been stored "in the cloud."
- GoodReader ($4.99) - GoodReader is great because it allows you to handle huge PDF and TXT files, manuals, large books, magazines, and renderings of 100 mb and more. You can use GoodReader to mark-up PDF and use typewriter text boxes, sticky notes, lines, arrows, and freehand drawings on top of a PDF file.
- Note Taker HD ($4.99) - While Note Taker has some similar functions as Goodreader, Note Taker lets you create pages by writing on the screen with your finger or an iPad-compatible stylus. You can either write directly on the page for large drawings, or have the "ink" you write shrunk down. You can write in large letters on the screen rather than trying to make tiny motions like a pencil. You just keep writing and Note Taker automatically adds new writing next to the old.
- TrialPad ($89.99)- This document management and presentation tool was developed for the legal profession for use in a trial, hearing, or ADR setting. TrialPad allows you to organize, manage, annotate, and store your documents and video while leveraging the portability of your iPad.