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smartphones and computers

The practicePRO Lending Library continues to grow with the addition of two new books: iPad for Litigators, and Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers.

iPad for Litigators

Lawyers have quickly learned that their new iPads are for more than just entertainment. Many have seen how they can be utilized in their law practices to make them more productive.

One such lawyer is Tom Mighell, a consultant who helps companies deal with records management and e-discovery issues. His previous books were the very popular iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers (both of which are also available in our lending library).

The new iPad in One Hour for Litigators looks at apps that would be useful as one goes through the phases of an imaginary case. The book is broken into six chapters: intake and docketing, discovery, preparing for trial, legal research, selecting a jury and presenting a case. Along the way there are apps for taking notes with clients, scanning documents and managing files, creating transcripts of discoveries, reviewing case law, presenting evidence, and much more.

Mighell distinguishes between those apps he recommends now, and those that show promise but may not work quite as well as others. In addition to apps, the book looks at accessories for the iPad to make it easier to use, like styluses and keyboards.

As Mighell says, the iPad won’t make you a better lawyer, but it can make you a more productive lawyer and improve the services you offer clients.

Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers

“Our primary reason for investigating Google Apps… was to start preparing our firm to keep up with this new culture of constant communication and to help employees enhance client relationships through better sharing and collaboration.”

This quote appears in the introduction to Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers by Carole A. Levitt and Mark E. Rosch, co-founders of an internet skills training company. The quote sums up why the use of Google Apps’ cloud-based suite of tools continues to grow in popularity with lawyers. These apps include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. This book focuses on Gmail and Calendar.

Why are firms adopting Google’s email and calendar services? The ability to have access to your critical practice information from anywhere, at any time of day and on any device, from desktop to tablet to phone. Many lawyers already use Gmail as a personal account, but by paying a per-person fee to sign up for Google Apps for Business their firms can get dedicated account names (@mylawfirm.com instead of @gmail.com) along with increased storage, tech support and backup security. The Gmail and Calendar services can also be synced to the software (Outlook, Clio, Rocket Matters, etc.) many firms already have.

The book explains how to migrate your existing contacts, emails and calendar entries to Google, and explores the features of Gmail and Calendar that go beyond sending emails and entering dates. For instance, Google Chat and Call Phone features allow real time instant messaging or phone calls with your email contacts. And additional apps and plugins can be downloaded from the Google Chrome webstore to add additional features and functions, such as an app that will search the web for information about an unknown sender, or Google Vault, which archives emails in a way that makes them easy to retrieve and search later.

Many lawyers have concerns about the security of client information stored in the ‘cloud’. The final chapters of the book look at the various opinions on the ethics of cloud storage from a number of state bar associations, and a review of the security and back-up measures Google has put in place. The authors encourage firms to weigh the risks and benefits and decide for themselves.