The incredibly broad and ever-increasing appeal of the iPad is an impressive thing to see. It started out as a big consumer hit and soon after it had huge traction in the enterprise. In the last couple of years we’ve seen it being used by local governments, businesses of all types, educational institutions ranging from K-12 all the way to blue-chip universities. It’s big in the healthcare arena too.
The legal profession is another area where it seems to be gaining momentum. David Sparks at MacSparky certainly noted a trend in his recent post titled iPad Lawyers:
I’m back from spending several days in Chicago for the American Bar Association’s annual TechShow conference. As always, I had a great time and met many readers and MPU listeners, which is kind of awesome.
While last year, the iPad was a novelty at the conference, this year it almost appeared to be standard issue. Almost everyone had one. During my talk about technology at trial, I looked out to a packed room and was able to count the number of open laptops on one hand. Just about everybody else was using an iPad.
I’ve seen other evidence (though perhaps not Here’s Exhibit A Your Honor level evidence) of this trend as well. My brother is a lawyer (and a damn fine one) and he won’t object if I mention that he’s generally a huge luddite. But he now uses a first-gen iPad and enjoys it a lot. I wouldn’t be shocked if he updates to a newer model soon. I have some other lawyer friends who I know use iPads and I’ve seen a number of commenters here mention that they’re in the legal profession as well.
It strikes me that the iPad offers a great combination of features for lawyers, who rely so heavily on information and documentation. A lightweight, portable, instant-on device that can pack an enormous amount of information and present it elegantly and efficiently, along with all its other myriad capabilities, should be a hugely useful tool I would think.
That’s my impression. I’d love to hear thoughts on this from any of you who are in the legal profession – please share in the comments.