The legal profession is often associated with tradition: case law, legal precedent, oral arguments and law books. However, it’s these very same features that allows the law to be stored digitally — and accessed from just about anywhere on the planet. As a result, there is no shortage of apps for lawyers that allow you to do just that: access what you need with the touch of a button. It’s why we’ve compiled this list of apps for attorneys that can help make practicing the law that much simpler.
Although many of these apps for lawyers are just that — apps for lawyers — some are more broadly based, but are designed to do what lawyers need, which is to access digital functionality whenever and wherever it’s needed.
Need to do online legal research or have easy access to legal research topics? Look no further than the Westlaw app, which, for subscribers of the service, is free for both Apple iOS and Google Android devices. Westlaw syncs legal research resources between all your devices, including saved searches, folders, and email content — all designed for the needs of lawyers on the go.
This is another app for lawyers that provides online legal research on a mobile platform. This is a free law app available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. However, unlike Westlaw, no subscription is required, but its database is American law, so it’s meant either for lawyers practicing law in the States, or those interested in American case law and statutes — at both the federal and state level.
According to a 2015 American Bar Association (ABA) technology survey, most lawyers prefer iOS to Android. As a result, many attorney apps and legal search apps are optimized for iPhones and iPads, versus Samsung, LG and other Android devices. DLaw is an app for lawyers designed to balance the equation. It’s only available on Google Play for Android. Free features include access to civil, criminal, appellate and bankruptcy procedures, as well as the U.S. Constitution. In-app purchases include state and federal codes, as well as the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).
Not to be outdone, Canada does have its own legal researcher app for lawyers, too. Given the many cross-border issues that have arisen as a result of trade agreements between Canada and the United States, as well as other international trade agreements and treaties, having easy access to mobile Canadian law research can come in handy. Available only for iOS, WiseLii is a free law app that provides research of federal and provincial statutes, as well as case law on a wide range of topics.
5. Global Law
Interested in a more international perspective on legal topics and issues? Global Law is a free law app that does just that. Available only at the Apple App Store, this is an app that serves as a portal for law information compiled by 50 law firms across the globe. Global Law provides daily updated stories on new laws and developments, as well as their impact both locally and globally. It’s an app for the international lawyer at heart.
This is an app for lawyers that typifies today’s age of digitization. Back in the old days, signatures had to be done via pen and paper. Then, sometimes exceptions could be made with faxing. Scanning managed to advance signature technology even further, but having to print, scanning, and re-send ended up complicating the process. Now, with SignMyPad, the technology has come full circle. Simply load the document and sign it on the mobile device’s screen. Job done. This app is available for purchase on both Android Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Moving back to the Android platform for this lawyer app, Depose essentially does what the name suggests: allows for the drafting and taking of depositions as well as editing, attaching exhibits, importing questions from text files, and reorganizing all aspects of deposition structure, including the creating of personalized templates. Ideal for tablet use, Depose is available for purchase on Google Play, and comes with easy-to-use interface, an intuitive design and optimized technology for lawyers.
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This is a lawyer app that does exactly what the name says. It allows lawyers to find stand-in lawyers for those times when you can’t be in two places at once. Available on iOS, and to lawyers in the United States and Canada, StandIn acts much like the legal version of Uber, matching lawyers in need of a temporary replacement with those that are available and in geographic proximity. Features include fee processing as well as a database of lawyers-on-call that have been reviewed by other StandIn app users.
9. Google Drive
In today’s technology-driven world, there are some functions your devices should absolutely have. These include backup, syncing and mobile file retrieval — all of which can be achieved with Google Drive. There are other great apps out there that specialize in backups, or syncing, or cloud-based storage, but Google Drive does it all — and it’s free for the first 15GB of storage, with very affordable upgrade plans, too. Although a Google app will obviously cater to Android users, Google Drive even allows iOS users to incorporate non-iCloud storage services into the Apple ecosystem.
10. Microsoft Office app(s)
It’s hard to pinpoint one Microsoft Office lawyer app because there are plenty available, for both iOS and Android, and even more app functionality is available if your firm is set up on the Office 365 platform, which many large and small businesses are. Basically, Microsoft standards Word, Excel and OneNote are all available via app and allow users to create, edit, sync and access documents on the fly. OneNote, in particular, allows almost instant syncing of content-rich notes across various platforms and devices.
Browsers are often taken for granted today, and some of you might not even consider it as a technology for lawyers, but it is. Everyone surfs the net, and sometimes you simply have to do it with the fastest and most feature-rich browser available. There are a number that fit the bill, but not quite like Chrome, which, most importantly, allows users to sync bookmarks and histories across all devices, including those on both Android and iOS. If you’re away from your desk, but need to find those legal websites you viewed on your desktop a week ago, Chrome will let you search for them, and find them, too.
About the Author: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who covers a broad range of topics of interest to today’s selective content audience. Visit his website here.