I am constantly seeing lawyers get their first iPad. The first question many of them have is: OK, I have this iPad, now what? I often point people to this post I wrote in June that has advice for new iPad owners, but what if you want more? A great resource is the book iPad in One Hour for Lawyers by Tom Mighell. Tom is an attorney but now spends his time as a consultant, helping companies with records management and e-discovery issues. He is also the co-host of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a legal technology podcast, and he publishes the website iPad 4 Lawyers, a great source for iPad tips and app reviews.
The aim of this book is to teach a lawyers the essentials of using an iPad but to do so in a book that can be consumed in just an hour. And you really can read this book in about an hour. There are six lessons in the book:
- Navigating Your iPad and Browsing the Web
- Setting Up Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
- Managing Your iPad: Multitasking and Folders
- Adding Files to Your iPad and Syncing Them
- Being Productive on the iPad
- Doing Lawyer Things on Your iPad — Legal Apps
The first four lessons are essentially iPad basics, information that would be useful to anyone who uses an iPad, but information that all iPad owners should definitely know. If you are coming to the iPad from an iPhone you may already know about much of what is in Lesson 1 (although maybe not), and if you work in a large law firm, you may be lucky enough to have some IT folks who can help you with much of what is in Lesson 2, but it is still useful to have a straightforward, short guide to these steps.
Where the book gets most valuable for any attorney using an iPad is Lessons 5 and 6. This is where the book offers all sorts of tips for using the iPad as a lawyer, things like taking notes on the iPad, creating and editing documents, and using lawyer-specific apps to do things like pick a jury or do a trial presentation. After the six lessons, the book then includes a "beyond the lessons" section that discusses some advanced topics like security, shortcuts, and advanced e-mail options.
The paper version of this book was released earlier this year, just as the iPad 2 was coming out, but the electronic version of the book just came out a few weeks ago and the ABA sent me a free review copy of the new electronic version. While a lot has happened in the world of the iPad since earlier this year, I didn't come across anything in the book that is incorrect due to the passage of time. This book provides a great foundation for attorneys who are new to the iPad, who can then get more advanced and up-to-date information at websites like this one, iPad 4 Lawyers, Tablet Legal, etc. Any lawyer who is new to the iPad will get a lot out of this book.
You can purchase a hard copy of the book from the ABA for $35, or only $20 if you are a member of the ABA's Law Practice Management Section, but I discourage you from doing so. [UPDATE: The book is also now available on Amazon.] Instead, you should purchase an electronic copy of this book to read on your iPad. Just the simple act of reading a book like this on your iPad will get you even more used to using the iPad, plus it will give you a chance to use the iBooks app on the iPad so you can see what it is like to read a book on an iPad. The ABA sells an electronic version of the book that works in the iBooks app for the same price as the hard copy of the book ($35 or $20), but you can buy this book in the Apple iBookstore for only $18. I consider $35 to be substantial amount of money for a book that you will largely consume in an hour (although you may use it as a resource long after that), but $18 is a great price for all of this information. Plus, buying a book in the iBookstore from within the iBooks app on the iPad is by far the easiest way to get a book on your iPad — an important consideration for the new iPad users who are the target of this book. Thus, while I am providing all three links below, I encourage you to use the last one:
Click here to get a hard copy of the book from the ABA ($34.99, or $19.99 for Law Practice Management Section members).
Click here to get an electronic copy of the book from the ABA ($34.99, or $19.99 for Law Practice Management Section members).