iPads, iPad2, Xoom, Playbook, Galaxy… the ever increasing list of tablet devices that are either on the market or soon to hit the market seem to be all some of us can talk about this year. Everyone is determining how these devices can be used in their profession, and the legal industry is no exception. So with all the hype surrounding the tablets, we asked if you were going to jump in with both feet and integrate these tablets into your work process, or if you were just going to sit this one out and stick with your traditional devices (PC’s, laptops, legal pads and pencils…)

Seems that the couple of folks that chimed in this week are sticking to their traditional methods. I also ran across something this week that makes the geek in me interested, and the “cheapness” in me even more happy. There’s a cool way to turn a Barnes & Noble e-reader (Nook-Color) into an Android Tablet. The way this guy does it is simple, no “hacking” or “rooting” necessary, and I don’t think it would even void your warranty with B&N (but, that’s just my opinion and not any type of legal advice… as I may be completely wrong.

Thanks to this week’s contributors. We’ve set up another question at the bottom of this post, so go check it out and feel free to share you perspective with us.

Steven B. Levy
Author, Legal Project Management

You have a false assumption in the subtitle of the question: “”Are you going to be cutting edge…”” Tablets are interesting, but they were cutting edge ten years ago. Apple has made them cool, as is their wont, but they haven’t invented anything new.

I’ll stick to my three-pound netbook, which does most of the real stuff the iPad does — and a lot more, for less money. It’s not as cool, but then again, neither am I. (Just ask my kids!) Long battery life, read books or watch videos, do mail — except ten times as fast, surf the web, etc. Oh, and also run full versions of PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, and the essential OneNote.

I like touching stuff to make it happen, but most of what I do involves words, and keyboards are the right tool for “”wording.”” In a few years, when speech-to-text really, really works, maybe I’ll ditch the keyboard — except when I’m working around other people who aren’t paying me to talk and would probably prefer that I didn’t.
Riva Laughlin

I’ll be sitting this craze out. I have a netbook and an ereader, and can’t figure out what a tablet would do for me that these devices don’t already handle. Besides, think of the fingerprints!
Of course, if someone wanted to give me one . . .
Greg Lambert
Cheap Geek

I love my iPad (version 1) and use it for work (mostly email) every day. However, I think I want to try out the Android platform, but don’t want to spend $800 to get one of the fancy models. I may have to try out this way of converting a Nook-Color e-reader into a Honeycomb 3.0 Android Tablet. Looks cool, and doesn’t seem to destroy the Nook-Color’s base e-reader operating system as it boots off a flashdrive.

Next Week’s Elephant Post Question:

Will “Change” Kill More Law Firms This Year?

The BigLaw firm, Howrey, announced today that it will dissolve on March 15th (that’s before the next Elephant Post even goes out!!) In an interesting interview, Howrey’s CEO, Robert Ruyak, mentioned that BigLaw Partners have very little tolerance for “change” and that some of the new ways of conducting business (Client push back on billable hours through Alternative Fee Arrangements, outsourcing of e-discovery to cheaper vendors) led to the reduction in profits for Howrey, which lead to partner’s jumping ship (free agency), and the vicious circle continued until Howrey could no longer survive.

Howrey’s tale isn’t necessarily all that unusual for BigLaw firms. So our question this week is whether you think the Howrey tale is going to stop here, or is this a sign of how firms that don’t adapt are going to end up with the same result. Are there other issues of “change” that are occurring in the market that may cause additional pains for BigLaw? Let us know what you think!