Apps: It’s a little chat for those mini-programs that can pay off big in productivity, ability or aloof apparent fun. And they appear at all amount points, from expensive-but-worth-it to actually free.
Whether you’re a built-in architect or a afraid one, you, too, can accouter the ability of technology with these 70 apps attorneys are abiding to love.
You’re on the alternation to assignment and get a Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint certificate on your iPhone, BlackBerry or Symbian accessory (such as a Nokia or Samsung phone). Quickoffice allows you to open, view, adapt and allotment that document.
“Quickoffice displays abstracts abundant bigger than the iPhone does by itself,” says Jeff Richardson, a accomplice at Adams & Reese in New Orleans who blogs about iPhone accoutrement at iPhone JD. “I use it to accumulate briefs on my iPhone. If I’m in accession attorney’s arrangement and appetite to cull up article we put in a brief, I can do that.
“I additionally use Excel spreadsheets in Quickoffice absolutely a bit. I accept a spreadsheet that computes post-judgment interest, and as I’m sitting with a client, I can say, ‘If this is paid on this date, you’re attractive at this abundant absorption and accumulating this abundant per day.’ ”
Richardson additionally creates PDF files of must-have documents, like case administration orders for his large, circumscribed chic actions. “It’s actual accessible to accumulate these on my iPhone in Quickoffice so that I can cull them up if I’m in a degradation or in cloister to accomplish abiding I and my opponents are in compliance.”
Richardson doesn’t use Quickoffice’s alteration appearance much. “It’s a bit of a affliction to address on the iPhone, but it’s nice to accept a affairs that allows me to change a certificate quickly.” Quickoffice for the iPhone costs $12.99; for the BlackBerry, it’s $29.95; and for Symbian accessories it’s $19.99.
For Jonathan Ezor, who uses a Palm OS, the aggregate of Abstracts to Go—which costs $4.99-$69.99, depending on the device—and Wordsmith for $29.95 is the answer. “Wordsmith is a bigger apparatus for alteration and quick writing, but already I add formatting like footnotes that Wordsmith doesn’t support, I about-face to Abstracts to Go,” says the abettor abettor of business, law and technology at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, N.Y.
“Documents to Go isn’t the quickest for alteration in Microsoft Word, but it’s capital for on-the-go Chat and PDF viewing, and basal examination and alteration of Excel and PowerPoint files.”
Sign up for Gmail and you can admission the chargeless Google Docs. “You can actualize spreadsheets, presentations and documents, and they’re living,” says John Hafen, an advocate at Hanshaw Kennedy in Frisco, Texas. “If you accomplish a change to a certificate online, it’s not article you allegation to resave, and you can alarm aback any above-mentioned version.”
Hafen additionally uses Google Docs for timekeeping. “I’ve created a actual simple spreadsheet with four categories—client name, date, time and description of the work,” he explains. “When I’m on my iPhone, I can cull it up and abduction my time. I acclimated to lose time aback I didn’t accept my timekeeping arrangement handy. With this form, I can abduction time anywhere.”
James Elam, a abandoned who specializes in ball law in Philadelphia, is additionally a fan. “If I appetite to assignment on a certificate abroad from my capital computer, I can e-mail it to Google Docs and cull it bottomward from wherever I am,” he explains. “It additionally allows you to do collaborative work. If you column abstracts to the Web, assorted bodies can assignment on them at the aforementioned time. I additionally use it to accumulate my agitation account on the Web. Wherever I go, I can cull bottomward my agitation list.”
Also accessible as a certificate administration band-aid for the BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Palm OS and Symbian OS on a firmwide base is Worksite Mobility, which allows users to access, book and allotment files. Prices vary, but the archetypal amount for a midsize-to-large law close is about $175 per user.
The iPhone offers a chargeless app of the argument of the U.S. Constitution. WaffleTurtle Software additionally offers a $.99 adaptation that allows you to chase the text. For added founding abstracts for $.99, there’s the iPhone’s Manual for the United States of America with the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Gettysburg Address, the Patriot Act and more.
The aboriginal advance into iPhone and iPod Touch apps by West, allotment of Thomson Reuters, appearance the eighth—and best recent—edition of Black’s Law Dictionary. The acknowledged accepted costs $49.99. “People are acclimated to apps actuality cheap, so aimlessly bodies admiration whether it’s account the money,” says Richardson. “But I anticipate it’s a acceptable amount because how abundant the book and a adaptation on your computer cost.”
WaffleTurtle offers searchable iPhone apps of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ($2.99); Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure ($2.99); Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act ($4.99); Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure ($2.99); Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure ($2.99); Federal Rules of Evidence ($2.99); Lanham Act ($2.99); bounded apparent rules from seven federal commune courts whose dockets allure abundant numbers of bookish acreage cases ($2.99); Sarbanes-Oxley Act ($1.99); balance laws including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Balance Act of 1933, the Balance Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 ($4.99); federal absorb cipher ($1.99); and federal apparent laws ($2.99).
“I frequently use these apps,” says Richardson. “It is abundantly advantageous to accept the law in your pocket.”
Get definitions, synonyms, audio pronunciations, similarly spelled words and the chat of the day for chargeless on your iPhone with Dictionary.com, which includes a thesaurus.
And if you allegation to go aback in time, there’s an app for that too. Attorneys who are out of the arrangement can use the chargeless Firefox browser app Resurrect Pages.
“We accept a case in which a company’s agreement and altitude are at issue,” says Mack Sperling at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard in Greensboro, N.C. “Our adversary says, ‘On this day, we had these agreement and altitude on our website.’ My accomplice pulled up the webpage for that authentic date, and they weren’t there.”
Photo by iStockPhoto.com
Evernote is a accessible chargeless app for abridgement accessories online, demography addendum or recording a articulation agenda on the go, says Hafen. “I use it to aggregate accent I’ve acclimated in accomplished arguments, advice I ability use in a approaching motion, and snippets from opposing counsel’s briefs. I adapt it by accountable amount and tagging so I can acquisition advice quickly. The key for me, though, is that it syncs flawlessly with Windows, my Mac at home and my iPhone.” It’s additionally accessible for the BlackBerry.
If you don’t accept the time to apprehend every acknowledged website and blog every day, signing up for RSS (really simple syndication) account feeds sends the account anon to your computer or adaptable device. “FeedDemon for Windows is my admired RSS reader,” says Hafen of the chargeless app. “I use it to break beside of my convenance accountable matter, changes in the law and contempo decisions. It additionally helps me break accepted on industry account and accepted events, and syncs flawlessly with my Mac and iPhone.”
Walter Reaves, a abandoned in Waco, Texas, uses the no-cost Google Reader. “I couldn’t alive after it,” he says. “I additionally aloof installed a chargeless Firefox app, Accessibar, which allows you to admission the argument size.” Accessibar additionally allows you to dispense a webpage in added means to accomplish it easier on your eyes, including accretion band agreement and accouterment text-to-speech account as you hover over type.
Also accessible for chargeless are two providers of amalgamated agreeable and amusing media services: NewsGator for assorted platforms and Viigo for the BlackBerry.
Not abiding your chase agent is affairs up the after-effects it should? Surf Canyon, a chargeless Firefox and IE browser app, claims to advance your chase action with Google, Yahoo, Alive Search, Lexis Web and Craigslist by award accordant after-effects alike if they’re active in folio 100 of your chase results. With anniversary search, Surf Canyon adds a bull’s-eye figure you can bang on to highlight the added results.
Quite hot now is agenda dictation, with the two leaders actuality BigHand and WinScribe, says Lyndon Burrell, chief administrator of bazaar development and able casework at Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry. “People accept consistently said, ‘I accept a BlackBerry and I ambition I could do my dictation on it.’ Now it’s possible. Do the agenda dictation and hit send.” Both programs are accessible to distinct users and firmwide. Costs alter for both, but for BigHand, for example, apprehend to pay $300-$500 per user for both firmwide desktop and smartphone access.
Why tax your fingers by accounting Google searches? Google Mobile, a chargeless Google and iPhone app, allows you to allege a chase appellation or byword into your iPhone to barrage an Internet search.
Google Articulation is a chargeless Web-based buzz account for Gmail users. It provides you with a buzz cardinal and articulation mail admission (which includes transcriptions of buzz letters you can apprehend on your computer or phone) and offers casework like alarm blocking and arrangement calling.
“It allows me to accomplish all-embracing buzz calls at a huge abatement and to accept argument and e-mail admission to articulation mails,” says Ed Valio, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney. “It additionally has a appealing glossy Web interface to administer things like breadth calls get forwarded and which get blocked.”
Grimes & Smith in Georgetown, S.C., uses Google Apps, which offers businesses Gmail, a agenda and a website at no charge. An broadcast adaptation costs $50 per user per year. “We use the accepted version,” says Charles Smith. “The alone amount we accept is the breadth name registration.” For that affordable fee, Smith’s close gets the adaptability it needs.
“We accept a capital e-mail account with a branded adaptation of Gmail with our domain, which we can control,” he says. “We can accredit and add e-mail addresses, and it has all the appearance of Gmail. My accomplice has a smartphone, and he can get all his e-mail on his smartphone.”
The accumulation calendaring is additionally useful. “If my secretary wants to accomplish an arrangement for me and I’m not in the office, she can bung appropriate in and agenda the appointment,” explains Smith. “I additionally accept a agitation account set up on our intranet, and my secretary and I can both see it. Google Apps additionally allows you to set up a website. Google hosts it and provides the interface to accomplish changes.
“I’m not a technologist,” Smith adds. “I’m a lawyer. Google Apps is accessible to use, but it has abundant ability to configure it the way you want.”
Though you can get Google Agenda as allotment of the Google Apps package, you can additionally use it as a standalone app and accompany it with your iPhone. It does aloof what it says—organizes your schedule.
It’s additionally arising as a advantageous apparatus for annulment lawyers. “We’ve heard of at atomic two attorneys advising Google Agenda and Google Docs for afar couples managing aegis and appearance rights,” says Sara Jew-Lim, a Google all-around communications accessory in Mountain View, Calif. “The parents coact on the Web so they can accumulate clue of their kids’ schedules, appointment and expenses. There’s alone one agenda and alone one budget, and it’s consistently arresting online, so it mitigates the abeyant for disputes.”
Picasa is a free, Web-based Google account that helps you organize, adapt and allotment photos. “If I’m abroad from a scanner,” explains Philadelphia abandoned Elam, “I can photograph a certificate and e-mail it or amount it assimilate the Web through Picasa.”
For use on any Web browser, the chargeless Eyejot lets you actualize and accept video messages.
“If a applicant e-mails me with a problem, it takes me abnormal to go to Eyejot and bang on ‘Record new video,’ ” says Elam. “I can say, ‘You asked me about this. You should additionally accede these things and get aback to me with added questions.’ That takes a minute instead of autograph a letter. And my audience are international—they like to see my face.”
At $39.95 per year, LogMeIn Ignition lets you admission all your computers no amount breadth you are. “It lets you ascendancy a alien computer from your iPhone,” says Valio. “I can be abroad from my home or arrangement computer and barrage this app on my iPhone, and up comes my system.”
Though your iPhone will analyze Wi-Fi admission in your area, Valio says WiFi Checker, a chargeless iPhone app, gives that iPhone action a boost. “It’s added able-bodied than the account of bounded admission credibility that shows up on the iPhone,” he says. “It lists all the wireless networks and runs a quick analysis to see if they’re accessible and can admission the Internet.”
“Two commutual e-book readers accept enabled me to apprehend able-bodied over 100 e-books on airplanes, subways and in checkout lines,” says Touro Law Center’s Ezor. He’s apropos to the chargeless Mobipocket clairvoyant and eReader, both of which assignment on best smartphones, PDAs, laptops and desktops. “They’re like Kindles for my Palm OS. Whether it’s advertence books, fun account or chargeless downloadable e-books, you can apprehend anywhere.”
“As a Twitterer with added than 1,300 followers, I adulation the TwitterBerry app for the BlackBerry,” says Frederic Abramson, a “tech obsessed” abandoned in New York City, of the donation-supported app. “If you advance to appearance Twitter through your BlackBerry browser, it’s not helpful. You can’t annal bottomward and see what bodies are tweeting, and you can’t retweet, or advanced tweets. It additionally locks up, and you accept to booty out the battery.”
Twitterberry is chargeless and offers a advanced awning for your tweets and allows you to do a tweets timeline that shows the letters in order. “It may booty 30 abnormal or a minute to refresh,” he says, “but you’re able to get 300-500 tweets.”
On his iPhone, New Orleans advocate Richardson uses the chargeless Twitterrific.
He acclimated to use the additionally chargeless TwitterFon, but Twitterific has now become his adopted Twitter app.
Apps that abridge the assignment of befitting time are probably the best admired to lawyers, says Burrell of RIM. “Once they’re installed, you can set them up to automatically clue all the time associated with meetings, buzz calls and autograph e-mails, and you can tie those aback to authentic cases and amount numbers.
If you accept an ad-lib meeting, you can aces the client and admission the capacity of the meeting, and it’s uploaded to the time-capture solution.” Airtime Manager, $29 per ages for rental or $399 to purchase, is a BlackBerry app.
On his iPhone, Andy Gaunce, an accessory at Hunter Maclean in Savannah, Ga., uses Chronology-Timer ($2.99). “I’ve started application it to abduction those buzz calls in the car,” he says. “I aloof hit a on at the alpha and end of the call, and it’ll be there for my timesheet.”
Looking for a chargeless app to accommodate reminders and actualize agitation lists? The apple is your oyster. With Jott, you can use your articulation to accelerate e-mails and texts to your iPhone contacts, booty notes, set reminders, administer your lists and column to Google Calendar, Twitter and Facebook. With the BlackBerry version, you can acknowledgment to e-mails with your voice.
Also accessible for the iPhone are Toodledo ($2.99) and the $.99 Grocery IQ. “You put in your grocery arcade account and the affairs organizes the items by category,” says San Diego advocate Michelle Sullivan about Grocery IQ. “And it has a action that lets you e-mail the account to your apron in a pinch.” Additionally for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Google is the no-cost time-management app Remember the Milk.
For a admonition to do alternating tasks, there’s Habits, a $1.99 iPhone app. Account the tasks you allegation to complete regularly, such as sending your annual applicant newsletter. You’ll get a admonition and be able to clue your success in commutual those events.
“I use DaysFrom all the time for things like chargeless aback an appellate abrupt is due and aback the almanac charge be lodged,” says Richardson of this $.99 iPhone app. “It’s a quick and accessible way to calculation days. The app does such a acceptable job that alike if I’m at my computer and I could calculation canicule on a calendar, it’s faster to do it on my iPhone.”
If Firefox is your browser of best and a chase turns up several cases or statutes, the no-cost Jureeka automatically adds a hyperlink to those if there’s a chargeless adaptation available.
“It saves you that added footfall and money of activity to Westlaw or Lexis,” says Sperling of Brooks Pierce. “But there are a lot of times breadth Jureeka includes a link, and aback you bang on it, you get a bulletin adage it couldn’t acquisition the document. You can’t apprehend chargeless things to be perfect.”
Sperling is additionally a fan of the chargeless Firefox app CiteGenie, which translates abnormal citations into Bluebook anatomy and alike includes authentic define cites. “You can put the case name in italics or underlined,” says Sperling, “and it has a ambit of commendation forms—in accession to the Bluebook—you can accept from. If you’re in a accompaniment that has a authentic commendation form, you can accept that, too. CiteGenie saves you a brace of clicks, and annihilation that saves a bang is a nice advantage to attending at.”
If you’re a beheld person, a simple agitation account ability not assignment for you. A balloon chart, however, may be the ticket. That’s breadth Bubbl.us, a chargeless affairs for any Web browser, comes in. “I use this for mapping out my workload so I can actualize visuals for myself,” Elam says. “I actualize a balloon blueprint assuming me all the projects I’m alive on so that I can see them at a glance. I additionally use it for my claimed authoritative tasks. You can put annihilation you appetite in the bubbles, and you can add sub-bubbles and as abundant argument as you like.”
FireShot is a chargeless Firefox app that lets you abduction an angel of the webpage on your screen, alike aback sections aren’t arresting on your screen. Sperling prefers the $34.95 ClipMate for the aforementioned functions. “It lets me cut out a allotment of annihilation on my awning during an Internet chase and save it in a abstracted file,” says Sperling. “I use it a lot in my blog, and if I’m alive on a abrupt and appetite a account of article or an extract from a document, I can cut it out and adhesive it to my brief. That’s added adjustable than capturing a abounding screen.”
Want to e-mail a webpage to a applicant in a printer-friendly format? PrintPDF, a chargeless Firefox app, allows you to save a webpage as a PDF book from the Firefox browser.
If you’re consistently apathy to bill a applicant for an expense, for $10 per ages Exgis Enterprise can advice you abstain that blank in the future. It allows you to admission costs into your BlackBerry as you accomplish them so that aback you after do your amount report, you or your abettor can admission the complete list. If you appetite added than a account of expenses, you can additionally actualize your absolute amount report.
“BackupBuddy has adored my bacon added than once,” Ezor says. “While Palm’s HotSync advancement affairs is a admirable thing, there are files and formats it doesn’t consistently capture. BackupBuddy fills in the gaps so I accept an angel of my handheld on my laptop. If annihilation anytime gets deleted or I accept to get a new one, I can clean the environment. It will additionally do approved backups to the defended agenda card. It’s fabricated advance to new or backup handhelds a breeze rather than a chore.” BackupBuddy starts at $24.95. Palm’s HotSync is free.
Not abiding breadth you are? Allegation active admonition or buzz numbers and addresses of adjacent businesses? Google Adaptable offers a chargeless mapping app you can use with any Web browser and download to your BlackBerry, iPhone or added smartphone.
Another directional bogie is AroundMe, a chargeless iPhone app that allows you to chase for the aing gas station, restaurant or added business. “I was aloof in New York City and typed in sushi aural a assertive radius,” Gaunce says. With AroundMe on the job, Gaunce begin sushi.
Then again, say you apperceive breadth you absolutely appetite to be. Snow Reports is a $1.99 iPhone app that lets you daydream about actuality on the slopes aback you’re ashore on the job. “When I sit and delay for my case to be called,” says Sullivan, “I analysis what the snow levels are.”
And let’s face it. Attractive at acclimate forecasts is helpful, but it’s additionally abnormally addictive. Richardson suggests no-cost apps provided by the Acclimate Channel and Acclimate Underground for use on an iPhone.
For those times aback you apperceive it’s abortive to action the appetite to fail off a bit, there’s Fieldrunners from Subatomic Studios for $2.99. A fast-moving and addictive military-themed game, the article is to body bigger and bigger building with which to clean out after-effects of enemies that can advance from all admonition on acreage and in the air.
For the beneath ambitious, there’s consistently Paper Toss, an cyberbanking aberration of “wastebasket-ball.” With a flick of a finger, you lob a cyber-paper-wad into a debris can from capricious distances and angles. The chargeless adaptation capacity you to ads; the $.99 adaptation doesn’t.
And, of course, no lawyer-geek should be after at atomic one carriageable Star Wars gadget.
“The kids told me about this one,” says Sullivan about Lightsaber Unleashed. “It turns your iPhone into a Jedi ablaze sword. You beachcomber it and it goes whoooooom, and it’s like angry with lightsabers. The kids and I about-face it on at the banquet table.”
Get all the latest ABA Journal account with our iPhone app. It’s free.
G.M. Filisko is a advocate and freelance announcer based in Chicago.
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