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Top / “Must Have” iPad Apps for Lawyers

Below is my list of the Top 9 “must have” apps for lawyers using their iPad in their practice. Of course, this is MY list. For example, I know many lawyers use Evernote a lot. I don’t. I’m not including apps that everyone should have such as a mail app, news reader, calculator, etc. I am going to make this list its own page on this site and update it when necessary. As always, any feedback is welcome.


1. Word – the definitive text editor for the iPad. Many (but not all, of course) of the formatting and functionality I use for drafting documents is the same as on the full version. You can access your files on OneDrive and/or DropBox. Of course, most of my file creation and editing is done on my MacBook Pro, but I have had occasion to edit a file at a hearing and email it to the judge’s assistant. Trust me, the judge was mighty impressed. Free app to view files, but requires subscription to Office 365 to edit files.

2. Notability – Take notes as PDF files. Sync across devices with iCloud and Dropbox. Notes can include text, handwriting, photos, audio and video. $3.

3. GoodReader – opens all PDF files – small or large – including PDF portfolios. Files can be annotated with text, handwriting and hi-lited (all in various colors). Now that all seminar handouts are done via PDF, I find this app very useful to view and annotate those files. After the seminar, the PDFs can be wifi synced with a computer for storage or further editing. $5.

4. Wunderlist – syncs tasks/notes across all devices. You can set due dates and reminders. Tasks can be assigned categories (personal, school, medical, by client name, etc.). Also, you can share an items or a list with someone else. Free.

5. Scanbot – takes photos of documents and converts to PDF. Allows for “smart naming” of file based on date, location, event or custom input. Upload to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Evernote, Box, and more. Annotations (including adding digital signatures). OCR. Also allows for creation of multiple page PDF files. I have found this app particularly useful to scan receipts and combine them into one PDF for an entire business trip (CLE, plane, hotel, meals, … all in one file). Free, but $3-$5 in app purchase for “pro” features.

6. Vonage for Business – if you use VOIP (and I do), then you need an app to access voice messages and the settings. I use the app to set up simultaneous ring and to forward work calls to the phone of my choosing. Also, any other function of the VOIP can be controlled from the app. Other VOIP providers have their own apps. Free.

7. Quicksign – allows you to add your previously saved signature to a PDF. The PDF can be downloaded and later uploaded to/from DropBox, Box, or Google Drive. Or you can take a photo of a document and convert it to PDF before adding your signature.

8. 1Password – you know (or should know) about the many functions of this app. It has its own built in browser, but is now integrated into many iPad browsers (Safari, Chrome, Mercury,…). Free, but has $10 in app purchase.

9. Dropbox – an obvious but still necessary inclusion on this list. Allows you to view DOC and PDF files (and others). Also has option to open files in other apps. Free.


Using AppleScript to make a Scanner & Printer into a Copier

My printer/scanner/copier does a poor job of copying and scanning multipage documents. My scanner does a great job of scanning multipage documents. Instead of taking the 50/50 risk that anything I put in the copiers tray would cause a paper jam, I started scanning everything to PDF and then printing the PDF. Since I’m always looking to shave a few seconds off of a workflow, I thought an AppleScript would be handy to do all of this for me.

When I want to copy a document, I go through the following process:

1. Select the the “Copier” profile that I created the ScanSnap Manager. This profile scans at high quality, names the newly created file “copier0001.pdf” and places that file in the Documents folder

2. Hazel will (after a few seconds) recognize the file and begin the execution of the AppleScript.

3. The scanned file is opened in PDFpenPro. (I use PDFpenPro for this because I’ve found that it is far more “scriptable” than Adobe Acrobat).

4. The script asks me how many copies of the document I want.

5. The script send the print job to the default printer, closes the scanned PDF, and quits PDFpenPro.

6. Lastly, the script deletes the scanned file.

tell application "PDFpenPro"
	open "Macintosh HD:Users:Jim:Documents:copier0001.pdf" as alias
	delay 1
	set NumberOfCopies to choose from list {"1", "2", "3", "4", "5", "6", "7", "8", "9", "10"} with title "Number of Copies" with prompt "Enter Number of Copies:"
	print front document with properties {copies:NumberOfCopies}
	close front document
end tell
tell application "Finder" to delete "Macintosh HD:Users:Jim:Documents:copier0001.pdf


I don’t think this short script is overly complicated. I tried finding something similar using Google, but didn’t have any luck. As usual with AppleScript, getting the correct syntax is more than 50% of the problem.