The days of lawyers struggling in to courtrooms with luggage cases filled with documents may be numbered thanks to electronic tablets such as the iPad.
So say Victoria University law student Noah Obradovic and recent graduate Nussen Ainsworth, who have been so impressed with the benefits of the iPad for their chosen profession that they have been working on a project to promote its use.
Now the legal profession is starting to take notice. The two students have been invited to make a presentation at a Law Institute of Victoria conference on Friday 24 June touting the benefits of these electronic saviours.
"The Apple iPad has completely changed the game for solicitors and barristers," says Noah, a final year student who hopes to practise in commercial law after he completes his studies at the end of the year. "Practitioners who are not embracing these changes run the very real risk of falling behind."
At this week's conference, the pair will provide tips on how to make the best use of the iPad in court and in the office.
"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," says Nussen. "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."
Some of the most useful applications the pair recommend are:
- Cloud technology software such as Dropbox that allows documents to be transferred between devices and users
- Note-taking software such as Penultimate
- 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," says Noah. "But with some simple guidelines in place, they need not be worried."
His best security advice is to set strong passwords, including separate codes for individual client files, activating location features that find lost devices such as Find My iPad, and setting an autolock feature that activates when the device is not being used, preventing access.
"The law is not yet a paperless profession, but it's heading that way," says Nussen. "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."
For interview: Noah Obradovic 0432 496 861; Nussen Ainsworth 0430 001 089.
A picture of the two students is available on request.
Media inquiries: Jim Buckell, External Communications Manager,
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 4243; mobile: 0400 465 459; email: [email protected]