While we’ve been using the iPad here for a while, other localities in Virginia have begun to adopt the tablets as a way to trim the budget. The latest adopter is the City Council of Williamsburg.
Williamsburg is hoping to save $2,000 a year by using the iPads rather than generating the mounds of papers which are needed for meetings and inter-office memos and legal papers and everything else that council members need. Now they will be able to generate the documents on their computers and send them to each council member’s iPad via email or Dropbox or Evernote or any number of other means and never have to waste paper and ink printing any of it out.
It’s a good plan. The iPad a useful tool for the modern office. As everyone reading this blog knows, we have done our best to become as paperless as possible in the Wise Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Both our Circuit Court Clerk’s office and our office have developed similar programs which allow us to both view the Clerk’s file and our office file via any computer. Using the iPad allows us to use these rather than running off copies for court. Prior to the iPad you either printed papers from your office computer or packed up that desktop and carried it to court every day. The tablet is also useful for accessing statutes and cases online when you need to do some quick research in the courtroom. No need to copy statutes from books or print cases from Lexis. Personally, I find the most useful app to be Evernote, which allows me to enter .pdf documents from a case file on my regular computer as well as personal notes and then access them on all my computers. It is particularly useful on the iPad. The combination of the Evernote and the iPad has allowed me to stop taking any files to court. I’m sure that a little ingenuity on the part of the Williamsburg City Council will make the iPad at least as useful for them as it is for us.