With the explosion in popularity of the smartphone and tablets, lawyers are using more mobile apps and gadgets than ever before in order to keep themselves organized, research case law and quickly send documents to others. With today’s technology, it is almost possible for an attorney to carry the equivalent of an entire law office in a briefcase.
Fastcase, available for desktop, iPad, iPhone and Android, is a legal research service that gives lawyers the ability to search, sort and see legal research on the go. The collection includes cases, court rules, statutes, regulations and even constitutions. In addition, lawyers can access newspapers, legal forms and a PACER search of federal filings as well. There is a free 24-hour trial available, and subscriptions after the trial period range from $65 per month or $695 per year to $95 per month or $995 per year.
Simply plug the tablet into any laptop or desktop computer and reviewing briefs or interrogatories is much easier. The tablets use a pen or stylus, but many also operate with finger pressure. Lawyers can use the tablet to write, draw or diagram items onto any document or picture, reducing the need to print out reams of paper in order to edit the document. It also makes collaboration easier when working with colleagues or clients.
Evernote allows an attorney to capture information, access it anywhere and offers an easy search engine to find the information later. The app lets users take notes, pictures and recordings from websites, lectures and meetings. It can also transfer data from business cards. The easy search engine lets lawyers find the data on either a desktop or mobile device once it is synchronized to the computer desktop. The app is free for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
An encrypted thumb or external hard drive, such as those offered by Kingston, keep client data secure while allowing an attorney to access the data while on the go. Most of the encrypted external drives can only be unlocked by special key, making them secure enough that lawyers do not have to worry about sensitive information being accessed accidentally or intentionally.
Although most lawyers will not write a brief on their smartphone, many know that when a document needs immediate revision, it occurs just as they are about to leave for the day. Documents to Go allows an attorney to edit and change any document directly on their smartphone. Once the edits are complete, the document can be emailed using Exchange, although there is a $9.99 fee with Exchange for the version that allows the email.
Court Days is perfect for lawyers, legal secretaries, paralegals and other legal professors as it quickly calculates the number of court or calendar days before or after a certain date. Although all lawyers use calendars, it is still easy to miss filing deadlines when things are hectic. The app allows lawyers to choose the jurisdiction so that it takes into consideration court holidays so the dates are more accurate than other calendar programs.
These mobile apps and gadgets help lawyers stay organized, work more efficiently and avoid missed deadlines during busy periods.
Jenny Wadlow is a freelance blogger who enjoys sharing information on topics pertaining to her interests through her blogs. She writes for Snoddgrass Legal, a firm having over 20 years of experience in all aspects of legal work. You can follow her on Twitter @JennyWadlow.