Someone recently asked me what the benefit of owning a smartphone is. My first response was to tell them over to register for this CLE being sponsored by Jim Calloway. I'm one of the featured presenters (although is last really a feature), and I'll be speaking on, as luck has it, the benefits of using a smartphone in your law practice.
My 2nd reaction was to encourage my colleague to read my short comments about the subject. Simply put, smartphones are awesome.
Ultimately, my response to the question posed by my friend was, "that depends." As lawyers seek to mesh their home lives and work lives, the "necessity" for maximum connectivity increases. This is especially true for younger lawyers who grew up in this age of technology and fast-paced access to information.
Your decision to purchase a smartphone depends a lot on your willingness to open your life. With increased connectivity, you also decrease your "away-ness."
If you don't want to check and respond to email away from your office, you probably don't need a smartphone. If you're dead set on purchasing the newest refills for your day planner, you probably don't need a smartphone. If you don't need a cool way (see this one too) to improve your depositions, you probably don't need a smartphone.
However, if you recognize that our world has changed from the days we used pay phones and operators to get in touch with people, then you'll want to get with the technology. Smartphones are taking the place of conventional phones, just like the telephone took the place of the telegraph. With the advent of tablets based on smartphone operating systems, the need for a "smartphone" will only increase.