Apple’s iPad, the tablet device that has become so ubiquitious that it’s now a proprietary eponym for tablets themselves (much to the chagrin of Microsoft), continues to make gains in law firm adoption. Of the 49 percent of respondents in ABA’s annual Legal Technology Survey who use a tablet for law-related tasks away from the office, 81 percent use iOS devices; and, as our ‘Apple in Law Offices’ survey showed last year, in-firm iPad usage rose 10 percent over the previous year to 67 percent.
Why the continued growth in iPad usage? Part of the charm of the venerable devices lies with their versatility and ease of use, coupled with a growing desire on the part of law firms to go paperless.
We’ve covered some of the multitude of use cases for iPad apps for lawyers below to get you started. Let’s explore the ways to use iPads in your law firm.
1. Client Intake
Still dealing with unwieldy paper forms? Save on printing costs and cancel your order of branded pens—instead, give clients an iPad with a pre-loaded Wufoo form to fill out when they arrive to your office. With Wufoo, you’re able to create custom forms for client intake, and then have the client’s information automatically synced with Clio via our Zapier integration.
2. Courtroom Presentations
At least one court is now placing iPads in the hands of judges and juries to review and evaluate evidence with the aim of speeding up trials, and expect this practice to become more common if it finds success. A multitude of apps exist to assist lawyers with broadcasting courtroom presentation from their iPad, and slick, well-produced visuals can actually have a measurable impact on juries (unless, of course, they’re Android fans).
3. Payment Terminal
By using Square, any iPad can become a point-of-sale terminal. Simply request a free Square reader, plug it into the headphone jack on your iPad, and download the Square Register app, and clients will be able to swipe their cards and sign directly from the device–but ensure you’re using this for earned fees only. Clio integration partner LawPay offers an iPad app as well for credit card processing, without the nifty card reader.
Need face time with clients or staff members while you’re out of office? Apps like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple’s native, not-at-all-cleverly-named FaceTime can trump the phone in terms of fostering employee collaboration or client satisfaction.
Thanks to Agile Law, depositions can now be conducted entirely digitally, giving your printer a break. Attorneys can now annotate, organize and broadcast documents and exhibits entirely from their iPad rather than lugging around bankers boxes and reams of paper.
6. Practice Management
With cloud-based practice management apps like Clio, lawyers can manage every aspect of their law firm from their iPad—including client records, matters, time tracking, document management, and more. No desktop required! While a device alone won’t make you a better lawyer, it can make your job easier and improve the delivery of client service. With a multitude of uses, the iPad is definitely something law firms will want to give a second look.