In Greg Hoole’s recent article for the Law Technology News, he highlights the exponential growth and usefulness of iPads and their apps for today’s lawyers. Advances in technology have always helped firms adapt and stay ahead, but Apple’s release of the iPad and many of the innovative apps paired with it have changed the game.

The rise of the iPad and its use among Fortune 100 companies has been meteoric. Says Hoole: “within 90 days after its initial release, the iPad managed to penetrate 50% of Fortune 100 Companies.” Thus in less than 3 months, half of the world’s most successful companies were already hooked. And while the iPad is not the only tablet on the market, it is by far the most popular and trusted. Hoole notes, “80 percent of businesses planning to buy a tablet device this year reported that they intended to buy iPads”.

The benefits for attorneys are manifold, and go beyond helping firms move from endless paper filing to electronic storage. More specifically, Apple’s introduction of enterprise and Business to Business (B2B) apps, has opened up a whole new world of efficiency and productivity. Hoole goes on to note 7 groundbreaking apps that lawyers love:

GoodReader: Electronic document storage app which allows users to trim down considerably the amount of paperwork, document filing, and large binders needed in court, preparations or client consultations. This app helps greatly with organization and cuts down on time needed for administrative and secretarial work. Highlights and annotations made from a desktop computer can easily be transferred, and any new comments are easily recorded.

Rulebook: Lawyers can now take e-versions of rulebooks to court in place of thick binders and briefcases. Rulebook allows lawyers to search entire rulebooks quickly and easily by typing in key words and phrases. The app also allows lawyers to personalize it with their firm logo and jurisdictions. But possibly most helpful of all, Rulebook automatically updates rules whenever they are amended.

JuryTracker: Uses intuitive graphics and graphical input options that allow lawyers to track juror responses to evidence and testimony presented in court. If desired, more detailed notes can be added using the built-in keyboard or an external/wireless keyboard.

Quickoffice Pro: This app allows for the integration of Apple and Microsoft products, such as the suite of MS office products like Word, Excel or PowerPoint.  While the iPad is not ideal for extensive word processing, Quickoffice Pro allows users to share files, edit or create documents in programs they are likely more familiar with. It is also compatible with the cloud, and can be linked to remote applications like Evernote, Dropbox and MobileMe.

Evernote: Note-taking app where notes can be recorded and synced from a tablet, smartphone, desktop computer or internet source. This is very helpful for organization and making to-do lists. Notes can also be recorded vocally or stored with other important documents and emails.

Penultimate: Another note-taking app much like Evernote, but notes can be recorded in the more conventional sense through writing. Instead of writing on a notepad, notes are written onto an electronic surface and thus stored wirelessly. It can also be linked with Evernote.

Newsstand: Allows readers to download electronic subscriptions to journals, magazines, newspapers and more. Upon its release, subscriptions to many major publications like the New York Times increased dramatically. This is especially helpful for bars, review boards and other lawyers associations that want their material more widely accessible.