Why Lawyers Avoid eBooks (And Why They Shouldn’t)

Given that the majority of lawyers’ work and access to legal content is outside the office and on the go, the adoption of eBooks by legal professionals may seem like a given. In some organizations, however, the use of e-books is not widespread. Today, Thomson Reuters ProView® addresses the most common reasons lawyers avoid legal e-books. If you share these concerns, our responses may give you new insights into how eBooks can positively impact your workflow and practice.

“I prefer to use my traditional books.”

It is by using traditional books that most lawyers have learned to research the law. They are used to accessing their familiar dog-eared copy and automatically opening it to the most-linked pages.

This sentiment is not limited to older lawyers or lawyers in general. Many people prefer the tactile experience of interacting with books, especially when doing in-depth research or analytical work that requires taking notes, moving from one book section to another, or switch frequently from one title to another.

We’re not saying you have to ditch the books, but…

You’ll have more flexibility with more tools in your research toolbox.

Yes, there are times when using a book makes more sense than using an eBook – like when you want to quickly return to that same worn-out page or you’re gathering research and analysis from many source at a time. Maybe your eyes are tired after a long day and you just don’t want to stare at a screen anymore.

At other times, e-books offer advantages over books, such as when you are:

  • You are traveling or commuting and want to bring several books at once
  • Switch between devices frequently (for example, using a desktop in the office but a tablet when working remotely) and want to avoid losing your notes and highlights
  • Conducting research that requires a deeper search of the database using a tool such as Thomson Reuters Westlaw™, and you want to click back and forth between your book content and related online material

While attorneys generally don’t want to give up their traditional books, those who simultaneously use eBook technology in addition to their books tend to see the benefits of agility, efficiency, and mobility in their workflow.

“E-books don’t work well for legal research.”

This belief is another common reason why many attorneys reject the use of legal eBooks out of hand. When most people think of e-books, they imagine consumer e-readers. These might be great for casual reading, but as one ProView customer told us, the typical consumer e-reader “just doesn’t do the trick when reading or researching laws.”

Lawyers need to take notes, organize information, easily return to previous sections of text quickly, and stay organized while moving between locations (office, court, home, airport) and device to device. Many will reject the idea of ​​using e-books because they imagine themselves trying to do professional-level work on a consumer e-reader. They are right, it makes no sense. But there is a solution.

You can adopt the eReader technology specially designed for legal professionals.

For attorneys who reject e-books based on professional workflow and usage requirements, it’s worth checking out an eReader developed specifically for legal professionals. A professional eReader allows lawyers to interact with their eBook content the same way they would when reading and researching the law using a traditional book.

Lawyers using a professional eReader can:

  • Take notes in the text
  • Highlight text using color code
  • Print content sections
  • Access e-books when no internet connection is available

Additionally, the Professional eReader adds value through features unique to digital media, allowing the user to:

  • Automatically transfer notes, highlights, and bookmarks to new eBook editions
  • Access the same eBooks on multiple devices
  • Sync notes, highlights and bookmarks across devices
  • Efficiently search for content by keyword or phrase
  • Search for content in multiple titles at once
  • Link to online content or other e-books with one click
  • Collaborate more easily with colleagues by sharing links to or PDFs of your eBook content

Thomson Reuters ProView is an eReader application that has been designed to meet the needs of legal research and workflow professionals. It provides professional features in an easy to learn and use interface. Updates to Proview’s functionality are continually made in response to customer feedback, making it superior to the mainstream beach reader app (although if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of working at the beach , ProView will work for you there, too).

Ready to try legal e-books? Buy over 1,800 ProView eBook titles.