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Five ways lawyers can utilize the Kindle

ImageWith the latest incarnation of Amazon’s personal digital reader, the Kindle DX due out in June, those unfamiliar with the device might assume its sole purpose is to allow users to catch up on Harry Potter while in transit, not to mention read their favorite legal texts.

But lawyers are actually using their Kindles to work more efficiently during the course of the business day.

Here’s a look at the top five ways lawyers can use the Kindle:

  • Read depositions.

    The most common use for attorneys is exploring read-only versions of deposition transcripts.

    The Kindle allows the user to make notes on the screen or on the Web via an online content manager.

    There are also applications — such as Accureader — that can transfer a Kindle file (a .ptx file) into a PDF for text conversions, and have it e-mailed to a laptop.

    “It’s an easy way to keep track of the case no matter where you are,” said Finis Price, a personal injury lawyer in Louisville, Ky. “A laptop or other reader is too clunky for [converting files].”

  • Take private records home with you.

    The days of an attorney piling ultra-sensitive case documents into a brief case are over.

    The Kindle allows the user to upload documents onto the device using Amazon’s Digital Text Platform self-publishing tool.

  • Find new ways to release your own book.

    Speaking of self-publishing, the Kindle gives attorneys looking to release their own book more options.

    You can use the Digital Text Platform to upload, format and sell your book at the Kindle Store. Hundreds of law-related books are already available.

  • Keep up on blogs.

    If your Google Reader is constantly showing 1,000+ unread items, the Kindle can download a number of blogs so you can stay up to date while on the go, all without a web browser, says Price.

  • Save on printing costs.

    The Kindle certainly isn’t cheap ($359 for the current iteration, $489 for the DX), but it can actually save law firms money in the long run.

    Firm policies and manuals can be uploaded in a read-only format. Web versions of magazines and newspapers can also be converted.

4 comments

  1. One big limitation is that the neither Kindle allows you to annotate or even highlight pdfs.

  2. The Kindle is invaluable to me as my portable legal library. From case law to the entire MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure), the Kindle let’s me have my entier law library at my fingertips wherever I am. It’s search functionality works well, and I can easily add bookmarks for quick referencing. My only gripe is not being able to organize content into folders. Other than that, the Kindle has been a positive addition to my law tools.

  3. The Law Society Gazette (UK) wrote a few articles about lawyers using the IREX Digital Reader. In contrary to the Kindle DX, this reader does allow you to make annotations.

    For those interested to see what Law Society Gazette had to say about it check out the link below:
    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/gsearch/IREX

  4. Shirley Callahan, EA

    Are you thinking about deducting a Kindle on your tax return? Think again. IRS will be concerned with personal use. Since IRS generally does not allow estimations, most professionals are too busy to track business use vs. personal use. One way around this issue is if you own two Kindles; one for buisness; one for personal.

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