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At The Bar

New Zealand Bar Association Magazine - April 2014


iPad/iPhone Apps for Lawyers

by Ian Handricks


The iPhone and iPad are both perfect tools to help you consolidate, organise and archive a vast amount of information. They can provide you with an easily searched facility to draw on documents and data you want, when you need it, at the touch of your finger




They are lightweight and portable devices that can give you instant access to your entire filing system, documents on demand and immediate access to the Internet. There are a host of functional programs (apps) that can help you process, analyse, distribute, edit and develop your thoughts, materials and virtually all aspects of your day to day activities.

Essential apps for lawyers could include:


  • Office2 HD: The best app to open, view, create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. The user interface is similar to your desktop Office programs.

  • Goodreader: The very best document, editor, organiser and viewer available. Especially good for PDF files and a perfect solution for organising related documents in folders. Goodreader can recognise a wide range of file types.

  • Writepad: A near-perfect handwriting recognition app. Simply write on the screen with your finger or stylus and WritePad will immediately convert to typewritten text. All text can be exported to a variety of applications and to email.

  • Audionote: This app allows you to record dialogue while simultaneously taking notes, drawing sketches and diagrams. On playback, elements that have been typed or drawn on the screen are highlighted at the point during the recording when those entries were made. Perfect for taking notes during a presentation or discussion.

  • Keynote: This app allows you to create, view, edit and present PowerPoint presentations.

  • TrialPad: A powerful tool for managing case presentations for the courtroom. It enables you to organise, annotate, and manage your case files, data, images, emails and documents for court hearings, jury trials, mediations, and other settings. You can also display images and exhibits using a projector or a monitor.

  • Austlii: This enables easy searching of the Austlii suite of databases from your mobile devices.

  • IAnnotate: PDF documents can be filled out, signed and notated. The app can import Word and PowerPoint documents, and convert websites into PDF documents. Annotations can be “flattened” into the PDF so that no one can modify them after you send them out

  • MyScript Calculator: An ingenious calculator that recognises and calculates hand-written equations. Fast and powerful and able to process complex calculations with ease.

  • Air Transfer +: The best method of transferring documents from your desktop computer to the iPad.

  • Kindle: The app for viewing and reading books. An essential tool to allow you an opportunity to source law books via the internet and have them available on-demand

  • SayHi: The solution to foreign language communication problems. Choose input and output languages - what's spoken is recognised and then translated and spoken back in the other language. What is spoken is also written! The app has an extensive library of languages available and is ideal for dealing with clients and witnesses where English is not their first language.

  • iTeleport: This app provides remote access to your desktop computer from your iPad/iPhone. It can connect to and operate your desktop from anywhere in the world!

  • box.net/dropbox/skydrive: These apps all provide access to files and documents stored in the cloud. An ideal solution to file sharing with associates.

  • Harvest Time Recorder: This is a simple time recorder for your practice. Features such as invoicing, time sheets and time management can be access from this app.



iPads and iPhones can be easily configured so that you can hear any documents spoken back to you rather than having to read them. You no longer need to type in every word. These devices can recognise your handwriting, speech and interpret your questions (Siri). The devices are the foundation of a smart legal practice. They enable lawyers to conduct their practice and communicate with colleagues and clients more efficiently.


* Ian Handricks has worked in the technology sector for many years and specialises in teaching professionals how to get the most from their mobile devices. Ian can be reached at ihan @ihug.co.nz or visit www.ianhandricks.com/145/ipad-tralning/ for more information on iPhone/iPad training services.


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