3 Ways The iPad 2 May Help Lower Your Bankruptcy Legal Fees

02 Mar 3 Ways The iPad 2 May Help Lower Your Bankruptcy Legal Fees

The powers-that-be over in Cupertino announced the iPad 2 today, and consumers around the country are sure to line up as soon as pre-ordered begin on March 11. As with just about every product put out by Apple, the iPad 2 is just about guaranteed to blow the doors off the place.

Personally, I’ve been playing with my original iPad for a bit of time now and have found that it’s of tremendous use in my practice. And though I won’t be upgrading immediately, I can easily see how getting in iPad 2 is going to be an asset to your bankruptcy lawyer.

Given the fact that you’re filing for bankruptcy, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at such an expensive device and thinking that it’s nothing more than a big toy. And you’re also probably wondering if your lawyer could charge you less in legal fees simply by avoiding such a device.

It’s kind of like waiting outside of bankruptcy court for your hearing and seeing your bankruptcy attorney pull up in a Porsche. You think, “gee, I’m paying for that!”

Not so with this little doo-dad. Because not only does it have the “cool factor,” but the iPad 2 is likely to make it less expensive for your bankruptcy lawyer to do business.

Less Need For A Copier

Your lawyer should already be scanning in every document you provide or sign, including your bankruptcy petition and schedules. If he or she isn’t, there’s a better chance that documents may get lose, misfiled, or just clutter up the office for other clients to see when they come in for their appointments.

Using the iPad allows your bankruptcy lawyer to go to court without a bulky file, opting instead for a thin device that holds copies of everything needed to move your file forward. Without the need for such files, your lawyer won’t need to spend so much money on copy paper, toner cartridges and ink for the printers and copiers.

It may not seem like a ton of money, but believe me – it adds up. In fact, since my law firm went this route we’ve saved thousands of dollars each month. That savings goes right into our clients’ pockets in the form of legal fees that don’t rise every few months.

More Effective Communications

Sure, most bankruptcy lawyers have their smartphones. BlackBerries, Android devices and iPhones are almost required to do business in any form. But have you ever tried to type out a lengthy email on one of those things? It’s easy enough to do a quickie message, but anything of substance is impossible. On an iPad, your lawyer can type far more easily than on a phone.

Using the iPad 2 your bankruptcy lawyer will be able to use Skype to do text and video chats with you. This is far faster than picking up a phone, more reliable than a crackly cell phone call, and free if both you and your bankruptcy lawyer have the free software.

Of course, Skype is available on my iPad as well. Unfortunately, my elderly (3 months old) device has no cameras on it so I’m stuck without visuals.

Cutting Edge, In-The-Moment Information

The iPad shines when it comes to information gathering. From free legal research tools to Internet access to control and access to client files using either Dropbox or GoToMyPC, your bankruptcy lawyer will never be caught off-guard when a trustee, adversary or court brings up a brand new decision.

Is an iPad required for a bankruptcy lawyer to provide you with the best possible assistance? Of course not. Knowledge resides in the brain, and experience is still the most important thing to look for in a bankruptcy lawyer.

The point is this – when you’re evaluating bankruptcy lawyers and deciding who to hire, you’ve got to take into account where each attorney stands when it comes to technology. Some attorneys proudly proclaim that they don’t use technology heavily, but to me it seems that taking the Luddite approach is not only inefficient but may also end up costing you more in legal fees than may otherwise be the case.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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