New York-based law firm Proskauer has equipped more than 500 of its 700 attorneys with iPad 2s. The attraction was the device’s “elegant simplicity” as well as the opportunity for the firm to enhance its own brand by being first.
At law firms, the technology spend ranks as the third-largest line item behind people and office space. Its place on the budget sheet, though, is well justified: Lawyers rely heavily on computers to deliver services that are at the core of a law firm’s business. All of this underscores the huge risk Proskauer took to adopt the newfangled iPad as a lawyer’s go-to computer.
The attorneys, who also work with desktop PCs, use the iPads with PowerPoint, Excel and Word. They also allow them to show information to judges.
Among the questions IT had to confront:
Will lawyers pay for apps? Will iPads come pre-installed? What apps will be mandatory? Can iPads also be for personal use? And if so, can the lawyers download movies at work? What will be the impact on the corporate network? How will you manage the fleet of iPads.
In the end, personal use was allowed. IT knew it wouldn’t be able to stop it anyway. Of course, that raises its own set of security issues, which Proskauer wrestles with every day.