Jon Bloor, Head of Corporate at Lees Solicitors LLP, recently reviewed our Tolley’s Employment Handbook 24th Edition eBook which was published on his blog ‘iPadLawyer’ (www.ipadlawyer.co.uk).
Law eBooks on the iPad
One of the most obvious uses of the iPad should be for law texts and reference books.
These are typically bulky, heavy tomes which aren’t easily portable. If you could transfer your whole bookshelf to the iPad and have it with you at all times, then why wouldn’t you?
LexisNexis have now made some of their books available as eBooks and have kindly let me have an eBook copy of Tolley’s Employment Law Handbook to review on the iPad.
The books aren’t available from the Apple iBook store so you have to download them from LexisNexis to your computer and then transfer them to the iPad. This is a simple drag and drop via iTunes if you want to add the book to iBooks (although it is best to read the rest of this post first) or via the iTunes USB file transfer if you are using another eBook reader…read more.
Our eBooks were recently included in the article ‘Kindle: has the time for law eBooks arrived?’ written by Scott Vine, Senior Information Officer at Clifford Chance. In the article he reviews the Amazon Kindle eReader device as well as looking closer at the need for eBooks in the legal sector. Please see extracts from the article below.
Law eBooks available
There have been a number of popular law books for consumers and students available as ebooks for a couple of years now. Just search the UK Kindle store for “law” to see the range (www.amazon.co.uk/kindle). But we are only now seeing the big name law publishers start to take the format seriously. In the US both West and LexisNexis have issued ebooks and in the UK both Sweet & Maxwell and LexisNexis Butterworth are in the process of launching their first titles in
the format. LexisNexis, for example, has thirteen titles already available, including Butterworth’s Employment Law Handbook, Tolley’s Company Law Handbook and Tolley’s Tax Cases, with twelve more titles becoming available by the end of 2010. (Note that the LexisNexis titles are in epub format so you will need to convert them to read on the Kindle.) What this means for practising lawyers in the UK, is that for the first time key legal texts are becoming available, and with it the opportunity for the lawyer of the not too distant future to have all the legal journals and legal texts he or she wanted – displayed as they would be in a “traditional” print run – all on one device (but potentially accessible from more) that they could keep on their desk or take with them to client meetings, to court etc.
Do we need eBooks?
But, with legal texts already available for years on CD and online or as downloadable PDFs that can be viewed on a normal computer or laptop (and so can already be taken anywhere by a lawyer), is there really a great need for or any use for ebooks and e-readers? The answer, for me, is an emphatic yes. One of the main reasons people like actual physical books is that they are perfectly designed for their purpose, and this is doubly so for more reference-like materials which enable a user to quickly flick through the index and then explore the actual pages references quickly to find that nuggets of information they are looking for. CDs and online versions of texts etc don’t let you do this. However, with ebook readers, suddenly this behavior can not only be replicated, but it can be replicated – in theory at least – with every text you are ever likely to need available in a small hand-held device.
The above text has been republished with the permission of www.infolaw.co.uk.