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April 20, 2011 5:54 PM

Proskauer Giving Lawyers iPads

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Proskauer Rose announced on Wednesday that the firm plans to supply the bulk of its 700-plus lawyers with iPad 2's. Distribution will begin this week and continue through mid-May.

Steven Kayman, a securities litigation partner and chair of the firm's technology committee, says that roughly 500 lawyers have requested iPads that will come preinstalled with a collection of business applications like DocsToGo and Goodreader. The firm will also offer training videos and sessions for the new hardware.

"My hope is that people will feel very comfortable loading the iPad up with all of the key documents from their transactions and from their cases," says Kayman. The offering is part of a long-term commitment by the firm to technological advancement, he adds. Earlier steps included a new data center in New Jersey and increased bandwidth for offices to connect to that location.

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Nice gadget and I'm sure the lawyers will look hip and up-to-the-minute tech savvy, but it raises plenty of questions for me...1. iPad doc storage is in the cloud. Security issues for lawyers? (I'm a cloud storage user but I don't keep confidential documents there.) 2. Most people I see with an iPad look uncomfortable typing. Great for reading and surfing and I think Facetime will give the iPad2 a real boost, but IMHO lawyers are still going to want to carry their laptop too. 3. That makes it twice as cumbersome--carrying two devices, three if you count your smart phone. Why not get everyone a MacBook Air 11". It is slim, trim, solid state, starts quick, lasts long and it is a work horse. I love mine-bought it instead of iPad and so glad I did. 4. Lawyers will have to learn new software and use it. The Mac office suite; keynote, pages, and numbers is really quite different. I own several Macs and still work in MS for Mac because I interface with law firms and they want MS formatted documents. 5. What happens when an iPad is stolen or lost? They better have a solid process in place to ensure that everyone's iPad is password locked with a very secure password. And, don't store those account passwords for websites you use. If your iPad is lost you could have problems. (Note: purchase "ONE PASSWORD." Great tool for mac users)
Thoughts?

Jayne's #5 is the first thing that popped into my head when I read this. Because the iPad is so light, people will likely carry it more often than a bulkier laptop, making for more opportunities to lose it. Being so light, carriers might not so easily realize that they've walked off without it when they're on the go. Compare these risks to the fact that iPads are not suited for typing or phone talking (big business needs for lawyers), and I'm seeing more risk than reward here. Smart phones are perfectly adequate for email and talking, especially something like the Droidx with its extra large screen.

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