February 29, 2024

DealBook: The Rise of the Legal iPad

iPad2Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Proskauer Rose began making iPad2s available to all its lawyers this week.

Lawyers are not known for being early adopters of personal technology. Indeed, many are still clinging to — or weeping over — their WordPerfect software.

But some are starting to change.

This week, Proskauer Rose, one of the nation’s largest law firms, began making iPad2s available to all its lawyers. So far, 500 of the firm’s 700 lawyers have requested an iPad and a desktop computer over a laptop.

Prosekaeur is not the first law firm to do so. Holland Knight gave iPads to associates as a Christmas present last year, and Patterson Belknap Webb Tyler gave all its associates an $675 Apple gift card in June to purchase an iPad in recognition of their hard work.

But Proskauer’s initiative is broader — and unusual among large law firms. Five big law firms contacted by DealBook did not have a similar program, though some have expanded platforms beyond the BlackBerry, so that lawyers can access their e-mail on iPhones.

Proskauer’s move shows that the firm’s partners see a real value in using the iPad. Steven O. Weise, a corporate partner in Proskauer’s Los Angeles office, is one of them.

An avowed iPad “power user,” Mr. Weise has found an application that allows him to log his “client time” — otherwise known as billable hours — and send it as an e-mail to his assistant, who can then add those hours to the firm’s system.

The iPad has its limits, Mr. Weise acknowledges. “I don’t do long documents on it, but you can do editing of documents,’ he said.

Proskauer is equipping its iPads with apps like DocstoGo and Goodreader that allow its lawyers to read and edit PDFs on the road. The iPad, unlike a BlackBerry, gives the reader a full screen to work with, much like a laptop.

“And this is much easier to lug,” said Mr. Weise, who travels to Europe frequently.

Lawyers, it seems, are shedding their heavy trial bags in favor of something lighter and certainly hipper.

More than 4,000 copies of the iPad app for The American Lawyer magazine have been downloaded to date. And Morrison Foerster, which represents Apple in patent infringement litigation, began MoFo2Go, a free app for the iPhone and iPad, last March.

Proskauer lawyers can also download a free app for the Charles Dickens classic “Bleak House” — which portrays litigation that drags on for years — but perhaps that is not what the partners at the firm had in mind.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=02cafe19afb3e3801a97a49ee0b24f1d

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