Lawyers who fail to embrace tools such as the Apple iPad run the risk of falling behind those who do, according to two young lawyers-to-be educating the legal profession about the benefits of technology.
Victoria University law student Noah Obradovic and recent graduate Nussen Ainsworth are so convinced about the benefits the iPad offers the legal profession - in both the courtroom and the office - they have been working on a project to promote its use.
"The Apple iPad has completely changed the game for solicitors and barristers," said Obradovic, a final-year law student. "Practitioners who are not embracing these changes run the very real risk of falling behind."
Obradovic and Ainsworth have been invited to speak this week at the Law Institute of Victoria where they will provide tips on how to make the best of the iPad.
"One of the most practical changes is that barristers and their assistants no longer need to cart around stacks of paper documents - they can all be stored and efficiently retrieved on an electronic tablet," said Ainsworth. "But that's just the start. Applications are being released every week that allow lawyers to manage their documents more efficiently, freeing them up for legal case work with their clients."
According to the duo, some of the most useful applications include cloud technology software, such as Dropbox, that allows documents to be transferred between devices and users; note-taking software such as Penultimate; and the tablet equivalents of PC document software such as iWork and Documents To Go.
"Traditionally, law firms have been cautious about adopting new technology because of concerns about security and client confidentiality," said Obradovic. "But with some simple guidelines in place, they need not be worried."
According to Obradovic, having the right security is as simple as setting strong passwords, activating location features which are designed to find lost devices, such as Find My iPad, and setting an auto-lock feature that activates when the iPad is not being used.
"The law is not yet a paperless profession, but it's heading that way," said Ainsworth. "Lawyers need to make the effort to learn all they can about this technology or they may be caught out - at the bar and in their chambers."
Obradovic and Ainsworth will be presenting at the Law Institute of Victoria on Friday 24 June.