Lawyers move toward iPhones, give up BlackBerrys

Lawyers are increasingly jumping ship from BlackBerrys to iPhones, thanks in large part to functionality enabled by the iPhone's special screen.

Lawyers are increasingly jumping ship from BlackBerrys to iPhones, thanks in large part to functionality enabled by the iPhone's special screen.

Some lawyers still prefer the BlackBerry for its keyboard and longer battery life. But the iPhone's big screen, slick interface and easy-to-use touchpad makes it an enticing device. The touchscreen makes it a snap to switch between browser windows and zoom in and out of documents.

Steven Wegman, an attorney at Greenblum and Bernstein in Washington D.C. has not abandoned his BlackBerry for an iPhone yet, but believes it's a good tool for lawyers.

"You can open to review all PDF and Word files and Excel spreadsheets, and shortly Documents to Go will be available that will allow you to edit these files on the iPhone," he told The Industry Standard.

Another lawyer, Amber Taylor, tries to have the best of both worlds.

Taylor, an associate with Weil Gotshal in Washington D.C. carries a BlackBerry and an iPhone. Each serves its own purpose, she said. She relies on her BlackBerry to access her work e-mail, which runs on LotusNotes and is not supported by the iPhone. She uses the iPhone to browse sites such as LexisNexis and check personal e-mail.

"I was really anticipating the switch from two devices to one, but I just bought a Kindle 2, so at this point my purse is going to be full of electronics no matter what and I might as well maximize the feature set," she told The Standard.

With more attorneys expressing interest in iPhones, law firms have also started embracing the device, according to The American Lawyer. At Chapman and Cutler, about 160 attorneys - more than half the firm -- now use iPhones instead of BlackBerrys and Treos. Another firm, Sonneschein Nath and Rosenthal, has several hundred lawyers using iPhones.

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Sindya Bhanoo

The Industry Standard
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