One of the truly innovative programs on Apple’s iPhone is Siri, a sophisticated voice-controlled personal assistant that helps you accomplish important tasks just by asking. With Siri, you can use your voice to make calls, send messages, create reminders and enjoy a nifty speech-to-dictation feature. As you can imagine, this feature is highly useful in a variety of circumstances and scenarios. Does Siri already belong in law firms? Should lawyers use Siri in their day-to-day practice? The answer, on both accounts, is yes! Many Mac enthusiast lawyers have already begun using Siri to accomplish important day-to-day tasks. Lawyers can use Siri to transcribe dictation into a document, email, or text message. Lawyers can hold the iPhone right in their hands and it feels no different than a dictaphone.
It should come as no surprise that lawyers lead very busy lives. If a lawyer needs to research the outcome of a landmark court case, he or she will be pleased to know that Siri can get the job done quickly. Here is a possible command that a lawyer may give to Siri: “Google the outcome of Kelo vs. City of New London.” If you weren’t already aware, the Kelo ruling established that the government could seize private property to sell for private development. In a highly controversial 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court held that this scenario qualified as “public use” within the meaning of the takings clause since it furthered economic development.
Getting back to my main point, Siri can serve as an indispensable tool for lawyers even outside the law firm. The lawyer on the go can use Siri to locate office supply stores or other retail establishment stores in the area. Siri can remind lawyers of important dinner engagements or dates they have for the evening. Siri can even call lawyers’ significant others to remind them that their legal lover will be running late.
In addition to Siri, the iPhone can serve as a valuable tool for lawyers in other ways. Apple’s App Store boasts over 500,000 applications. Lawyers can use the Conference Call app to schedule legal conferences with the simple click of a button. The iPhone will automatically call involved contacts and link them to the conference call. JotNot’s Scanner Pro turns an iPhone into an image and document scanner. Lawyers can use the smartphone’s camera to take a photo of a document and then allow this application to convert the photo into an electronic copy instantly.
The iPhone gives lawyers access to Siri and a host of useful applications that can save them time. All lawyers know that time is money, so invest your time wisely.
About the Author: John Zimmerman is a legal adviser for BabyChangingStation.com John uses Siri and other features on the iPhone to complete his day-to-day tasks.