As an injury lawyer in Sacramento, I find that one of the best ways to maintain a competitive edge is to stay on top of the latest technology.

Apple’s new iPad is an excellent example of a device that can be extremely useful to lawyers.

Top Lawyer Uses for iPads

1.  Carry All Your Files With You

With the iPad, and the help of a few apps, you can access all your lawyer documents from anywhere.  There’s lot’s of ways to do this:

Access Court Files Online – Many courts, such as the Sacramento Superior Court, allow lawyers to access all their civil case files online.  With the built in Safari browser, you can access these files wireless over the iPad’s 3g network.

Access Your Work Files – With the help of a $0.99 application called Good Reader, you can access all your case files back at the office.  With Good Reader you can connect to any networked drive, or to a remote “cloud”  drive such as Drop Box (2GB free, up to 100GB for $199/year) or Apple’s own Mobile Me (60 days free, 20GB for $99/year).

Access Your Work Computer – Apps like Desktop Connect will let you directly access your work computer, and all the files on in.

2.  Use the iPad as a Mobile Projector

You can load Keynote (software very similar to PowerPoint) onto the iPad and hook it up to the court’s projector system to put on in-court presentations.

For those attorneys that don’t want to switch, you can also play PowerPoint presentations on the iPad.  You accomplish this by either saving your PowerPoint presentation as a video, or as a series of still images.  This blog has a tutorial.

3.  Use the iPad as a Yellow Legal Pad

In addition to the touch keyboard, the Dragon Dictation App (free) for the iPad can translate speech into text, saving busy lawyers time.

Noah Schwinghamer is an attorney who practices personal injury law in Sacramento California, and who is interested in law and technology.  If you have any questions, please contact me.