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January 27, 2010

Could the iPad help transform law school and even lawyering?

Jobsx-wide-community It has taken me only a few minutes to decide that I now want and need an iPad, though I am fearful (or perhaps hopeful) that the new Apple gizmo will be much better for reading blogs than for writing them.

Also, I am also already thinking about whether an iPad and other forthcoming similar e-tablet technologies might alter the resource and technology universe for lawyers, law professors and law students. 

I have never tried to do any kind of legal research or legal writing on my Droid smartphone, and I suspect that there are relatively few smartphone apps that are truly helpful to the average lawyer or law student.  In addition, I have been disappointed by the potential for my first-generation Kindle to be a means or medium for me to do professional reading of cases and other legal materials.  The Apple folks are touting the iPad as having some of the best aspects of modern e-readers and modern netbooks.  If this is true, I can readily imagine the possibility of an iPad with applications that are especially lawyer-friendly and lawyer-useful.

Thoughts, dear readers?  Is anyone (other than me) eager to read this blog on an iPad?

(Cross-posted at SL&P)

January 27, 2010 in Blogging by lawyers and law professors, Electronic Education, Technology -- in general | Permalink


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I would hold off awhile Doug and avoid earlier adapter syndrome. See http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/01/ars-ipad-reax.ars


Posted by: Joe Hodnicki | Jan 28, 2010 7:30:50 AM

An order of magnitude of computing speed and power are still needed to get rid of the keyboard. There is simply not enough power to have good voice recognition.

Paper should be banned in the law, and all recordings should be put on the web with id theft stuff deleted. All trials should be on video and accessible to the public. I have an estimate of $10K for each courtroom, including technician time and supervision.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 29, 2010 3:00:17 AM

There's a recent piece at The Chronicle of Higher Ed's technology section on the iPad's potential to increase use of e-textbooks: http://chronicle.com/article/Apples-New-Tablet-May-Boost/63800/?sid=wb&utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Personally, I share your excitement about the iPad and intend to be an early adopter (if not an early adapter). What it can do in law and legal education will of course depend heavily on what App developers can create for iPad that they haven't yet created for the iPhone and the iPod touch. My wish list includes:

(1) apps that improve upon, or offer more advanced versions for iPad, of, what Aji Annotated offers for the iPhone -- allowing both for marking exams, and annotating articles, in PDF form (and maybe Word doc form as well?)

(2) improvements to the iWork version of Keynote Slide Presentation software for iPad (an initial version of which was already previewed by Phil Schiller at the Apple announcement of iPad) that allows for one to draw with a stylus directly on the slides as they are shown and otherwise makes the use of slide presentations a more interactive experience, perhaps even allowing students with iPads (or iPhones, iPods, or Macs?) to wirelessly connect to, and draw directly on, or otherwise contribute to, the slide show with the professor's permission?

(3) ability to easily and very quickly jump back and forth between links in slide presentations, particular Web pages, specified word or pdf documents, apps with interactive exercises, and diagrams with Mind Mapping software (like Mind Manager).


(4) better, and more graphically-rich, interactive exercises -- if not in e-textbooks themselves, then in a form where they can be very easily and quickly accessed from a link or bookmark that a professor places in such a textbook, or in one's own slide presentation. Again, it would be great if students with their own iPads, computers, or SmartPhones could, with the professor's permission, take control of an interactive exercise in order to provide the answer to the question or complete some other task (e.g. completing a diagram?) requiring understanding of legal concepts and relationships between them.

While one can already do versions of all of these things from a Mac or other laptop, it's not nearly as simple or seamless as it has to be to become an ordinary part of the classroom, reading legal texts, or grading.

Posted by: Marc Blitz | Feb 1, 2010 10:56:48 AM

OMG I luv the iPad :)

Posted by: Ami Baxter | Sep 15, 2010 11:31:17 PM

Just finish reading this through an ipad. Ipad is an awesome piece of invention from apple. I am still in the curve for improving my typing speed. An external keyboard would be useful.

Posted by: ipad blog | Apr 9, 2011 9:44:47 PM

While one can already do versions of all of these things from a Mac or other laptop, it's not nearly as simple or seamless as it has to be to become an ordinary part of the classroom, reading legal texts, or grading.

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