Come April 3—a date ingrained in the memory of FedEx drivers everywhere—it will be four years since Apple’s iPad hit the market. In that time, lawyers in increasing numbers have come to embrace the tablet, and to a lesser extent similar devices based on Google Inc.’s Android and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows platforms. Their IT managers, skeptical at first about integrating “consumer” hardware into the enterprise, have largely come around, too. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is no longer an anomaly at major law firms, but a trend.
But how, exactly, are tablets being used? And what role should they play within firms? To be sure, the numbers point to a hot technology: 61 percent of firms responding to The American Lawyer’s 2013 technology survey reported that more than a quarter of their attorneys are now using tablets. Yet are most tablet-toting lawyers really doing core legal tasks on their iPads? Or are those uses restricted to a much smaller group of power users? In other words: Just how much lawyering do lawyers do with their tablets?
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