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A guide to mobile applications for law and law practice, for law students, recent graduates, and members of the bar

Mobile Apps for Law Students and Practitioners

Introduction

As smartphone and tablet technology continues to progress, more and more resources are now available in app format. This guide provides an introduction to relevant free apps for law students and practitioners, including summaries, evaluations, and compatible system information.

Apps have been divided into five basic categories: Legal Education, Legal News, Reference, Case Management, and Office Management. Within each category, apps are listed alphabetically. All information is current through July 7, 2016.

Mobile Apps for Law Students and Practitioners

APP NAME

SYSTEM

SUMMARY

EVALUATION

Citizenship Works App

iPad/ iPhone/ Android

Citizenship Works is a comprehensive resource and step-by-step aid for those on the pathway to citizenship. It includes useful and unique features, including tools to help people prepare for citizenship tests (like reading and writing quizzes and touch flashcards), calculators to track savings, multimedia functionality (using audio to dictate phrases to be written in English), legal assistance located near the user, and much more. It is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Narrow focus allows this app to stay easy-to-use, helpful, and very informative. Checklists and calculators are just as useful as the study material (which is just flashcards).

Apple  and Android: The content and layout are the same across all devices, which means that for tablets,  the display is simply enlarged to fit the screen and the app will not auto-rotate in landscape.

Pocket Attorney

iPhone / Android

Pocket Attorney App gives you answers to your legal questions from well-qualified attorneys in ANY area of law. (written by Reza Khanjan)

The app has very little functionality itself. You select an area of law, fill out a short form about your problem, send it, and wait for a response.

Android: The interface is meant for a phone, not tablet. On a tablet screen, the display will either have low resolution or empty space. On the Android phone, there is a line of blank space as the interface does not cover the whole screen.

APP NAME

SYSTEM

SUMMARY

EVALUATION

ABA Journal

iPad/ iPhone/ Android

Read summaries of the latest legal news, updates as it happens throughout every business day. Plus, find original news reports and analysis, and reach in-depth monthly magazine articles for free where you are. Readers will also find contests, galleries, questions, polls, and lively comments. The ABA Journal is the United States' most respected legal magazine, read by half the nation's 1.1 million lawyers every month. It covers the trends, people and finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

iPhone: Text-based and streamlined, there are only three options: Today’s News, Latest Issue, and Featured Blawgs. Within each, the content is a list of headlines. Selecting an article opens the ABA Journal web page for that article.

iPad: The interface is a slightly simplified version of the ABA Journal website. In portrait, the website portion occupies the entire screen. In landscape, the website portion occupies the right 2/3 of the screen, while the left column replicates the iPhone interface.

Android Phone: The Android app differs greatly from the iPhone app. The interface is more complex, although it is still just a pick and choose interface. You decide what type of news you want to read and then it gives you a page full of article titles to choose from. It has top stories, daily news, podcasts, and information about the current issue.

Bloomberg Law Reports

iPad/iPhone

Bloomberg BNA Law Reports deliver original, authoritative, amd timely reporting and analysis that include key legal, legislative, regulatory or business developments. Our extensive information gathering capabilities include veteran reporters on Capitol Hill and in the federal agencies, plus correspondents covering every state.

With more than 500 reporters, lawyers, and editors based in the nation's capitol, plus correspondents across the country and around the world, Bloomberg BNA delivers the highest quality content in the industry.

This app requires you to log in with your standard Bloomberg Law username.

iPad: You can select a report on the front page, which opens that report and lets you select from any article. The articles are well-formatted, and the list of articles stays visible while you read. You can swipe right-to-left between articles, making it easy to skim and read.

iPhone: The interface takes into account the small screen size, moving through menu choices one at a time. The content and article format is the same as on the iPad but is still easy to read.

Congressional Record

iPad/iPhone

Read the daily edition of the Congressional Record on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The Congressional record App is presented by the Library of Congress using data provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Government Printing Office.

The Congressional Record contains the debates, proceedings, and activities of the Congress of the United States. The Congressional Record is published in four parts: House of Representatives, Senate, Extension of Remarks, and Daily Digest. The Daily Digest provides a summary of the day's activities.

iPad: The text of the documents is small but readable in landscape, though in portrait you will want to zoom in.

iPhone: The text of the documents is too small to read, unless you zoom in and then move around the page.

Overall, the interface is easy to figure out and you are able to easily move throughout the app.

The White House

iPad/iPhone/ Android

The official White House app brings you the latest from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, including news from the White House blog and press briefing room, photo and video archives, and live streams of events around the country with President Barack Obama and administration officials. (White House New Media)

A basic news app, including blog posts, press releases, photos, and videos. Easy to use, and all content is White House-focused.

iPad: Stories are presented in a grid format, with one category open at a time. The left menu allows you to switch categories.

iPhone and Android: News stories are presented vertically by category, with a pop-up menu on the left allowing you to change categories.

APP NAME

SYSTEM

SUMMARY

EVALUATION

Constitution for iPad/iPhone

iPad/

iPhone

A copy of the US Constitution with information about the history of the document.

Provides the text, plus notes on each Article and section, biographies of the signers, and Christy’s painting of the Convention (including optional labels of each individual). You can’t zoom in very close on the painting.

iPad: Bottom and top menus allow for navigation, and the app will autorotate and adjust.

iPhone: All menu options are at the bottom, leaving most of the screen available for content. The text is easy to read.

Declaration for iPad/iPhone

iPad/

iPhone

A copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Provides the text, plus historical notes, biographies of the signers, and copies of the parchment, engraving, and Trumbull’s painting of the Continental Congress (including optional labels of each individual).

iPad: This will not auto-rotate in landscape, but the display takes advantage of the iPad’s larger screen size. Except, the painting doesn’t use up all the space. All menu options are at the bottom.

iPhone: The iPhone version does not include the painting. Each menu is presented as its own screen. The interface is much simpler than the iPad version.

HeinOnline

iPad/

iPhone

Now you can have access to the world's largest image-based legal research database, HeinOnline, on your iPhone/iPad. View the image-based PDF's, access content by citation, browse by volume, navigate a volume with the electronic table of contents, and use full advanced searching techniques.

REQUIRES A SUBSCRIPTION. Using the Law Schools Wireless will allow access, which will last 30 days, or a librarian can help with the user name and password.

iPad/iPhone: The interface for the iPad and iPhone are the same, but made to fit the device.

The interface starts with a listing of the collections and you can begin browsing or use the search feature

PDF downloads are available.

LawStack

iPad/

iPhone

Law library app which includes the Constitution and Federal Rules.

Limited content is provided with the app. Some additional content can be added for free from within the app. Within the content, you can create highlights, add notes, get definitions (if a dictionary is installed on the device), and email sections of text.

There is only a single layout for both iPad and iPhone. The two interfaces are the same.

Note: Downloading new, free content caused issues on both the iPad and iPhone, resulting in loss of use until the cache cleared and the app reset.

Lawyers.com

iPhone/ iPad

Tap into this comprehensive resource of more than 1,000,000 lawyers and law firms from 160 countries and easily find the lawyer for your needs.

This is a searchable database of attorneys, providing information about firms (including location, rate information, areas of practice, and members) and  attorneys (including current position, areas of practice, education/experience, and peer/client ratings).

iPad/iPhone: This only has an iPhone interface, so the iPad display is expanded and cumbersome, but workable. The app is easy to use and helpful for finding a lawyer.

Legal Edge

iPhone/ iPad

Stay on top of the latest legal developments that matter to you with updates, news alerts, and case filings from the nation's legal professionals. This app streams free legal content

Once you are in the app, you choose from a broad subject then lots of articles pop up. This is not very useful unless you have time to browse. You cannot search, so it is not very helpful. You have to zoom out on both devices to read the article. Also, the topics aren’t in alphabetical order.

iPad/iPhone: This only has an iPhone interface, so the iPad display is expanded and cumbersome, but workable.

Lexis Advance

iPad/

iPhone

HD iPad

Transform the way you conduct legal research on the go! Get your hands on the award-winning Lexis Advance mobile app that was identified by eWeek and the Consumer Electronics Association as the only innovative mobile app designed to support job efficiency for lawyers.

Access critical information with Lexis Advance right from your iPhone. Whether you are in the courtroom or on your morning commute, conduct comprehensive research quickly to find relevant results. Please note you must have a current Lexis Advance subscription and valid ID/password to utilize this app.

You have to have a username and password to sign in.

iPad: The app looks like a simpler version of the web page. The app is mainly for searching, you cannot browse topics/sources. The search includes all the available filters. The filters are available on the side, so you can see your search results at the same time. Once you choose a document, the other search results stay on the side.

iPhone: The interface is changed to fit the size of the phone. The options are somewhat confusing as to the topics and sources. You would just use the app to search. The phone doesn’t keep the results on the side.

Manual of Patent Examininng Procedure

iPad/

iPhone

The US Manual of Patent Examining Procedure in your pocket. We've packaged it for lightning fast browsing and search queries.

Offers basic browsing and searching functionality for the MPEP. You can highlight, email, and bookmark passages.

iPhone/iPad: Both devices handle the app. If you need to have these rules then it is useful, but otherwise it is a simple app.

MyCongress

iPhone

MyCongress is a portal to detailed information about your elected U.S. Congressional officials. Track their news, video and Twitter feeds. Look up their official Open Congress profile or contact them directly.

The app allows you to locate Congress members by area, chamber, party, and state. The layout is easy to figure out and gives lots of information on each member. Once you choose a person, it doesn’t open a new page so you can easy go through multiple members.

OpenRegs

iPhone/ iPad

Take the Federal Register with you wherever you go! With the OpenRegs app for the iPhone and iPod Touch you can find recently issued notices of final and proposed rulemaking. Browse by agency or comment periods closing soon or recently opened. You can mark individual regulations with a star and then easily view a list of all your starred regs. Regulations can also be emailed to a friend or to yourself for later reference.

iPad/iPhone: This only has an iPhone interface, so the iPad display is expanded and cumbersome, but workable. Also, the iPad interface will not rotate.

This app is really useful because it puts all the agency information in one place and allows you to view the comment periods and regulations easily. One thing they need is a search tool.

PushLegal

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Select the books you need from our range of mobile deskbooks, which cover federal rules, Texas statutes, California statutes, New York statutes, Florida statutes, and Delaware statutes.

You have to register to view the app, but this is free.

Android Phone: The interface is a bit blurry. The app includes many features but it is not organized and hard to navigate. You get Federal Rules of Civ. Pro. for free but you have to purchase everything else. This app is not very helpful unless you are willing to purchase (per month) other books. In addition, the selection isn’t that great.

iPad/iPhone: There are separate interfaces for the devices. This app is exactly like the one for Android.           

Rulebook

iPad/

iPhone

Access The Bluebook® and other leading copyrighted works along with all your federal and state court rules on one app—all of which are kept current through regular updates.

iPad/iPhone: You have to register to use the app. You get some rules for free, but most you have to buy. This app allows access to the Bluebook but you have to buy it. The app would be more helpful if it wasn’t so expensive to purchase the books.

Codification (U.S. Code)

iPad/

iPhone

The entire United States Code, loaded onto your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad so that you can access all federal statutes without using the internet.

Note: This App. now costs .99

This is a simple way to view all of the U.S. Code. This app features access to all 52 titles of the U.S.C, historical and revision notes, cross-reference links, bookmarks, and many others.

iPad: Though the iPad view will autorotate in landscape, the layout is exactly like the iPhone. Text is extremely large and unwieldy, and the display doesn’t take advantage of the larger screen size.

iPhone: The app is easy to use. You can either browse and choose a section or you can search. The search doesn’t show the title, only the citation, so you have to look through all of them to see which one you were looking for.

Westlaw

iPad / Android

Tap into the world's most advanced legal research system on-the-go. Access familiar Westlaw features including, WestSearch™, KeyCite™, Folders, History, document notes and highlighting, browse database content and more.

You have to sign in using your username and password.

iPad: The app allows you to browse and search. This interface is much better than the Android. It allows you to filter your searches. It is easy to work although sometimes there is no back button.

Android Phone: The app allows you to browse and search. The search is not helpful if you don’t have a good idea of what you are looking for because you can’t narrow and filter. The app is helpful if you need to find something on the go but it is no substitution for the desktop site. The interface is easy to navigate. It is just the mobile version, not app specific.

APP NAME

SYSTEM

SUMMARY

EVALUATION

DocketLaw

iPad/ iPhone

Android

The DocketLaw App enables you to calculate event dates and deadlines based on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. If you have an existing Docketlaw or CalendarRules account you can also use the app to access your Federal, State, Appellate, and Bankruptcy rule-sets. The DocketLaw App enables calculation of events based on a trigger; review actual rule text and calculation logic; email the results or add events to your calendar and assign a matter description.

Android Phone: This app has a docket and date calculator. You can only use the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the court. The design is simple and easy to use. It could be helpful for figuring out dates and it allows you to email or add the event to your calendar.

iPad/iPhone: The evaluation is the same as the Android. The app fits each device.

E-Transcript

iPad/

iPhone

Portable E-Transcript is a professional grade application available for your iPad® or iPhone®. You can review and annotate E-Transcripts anytime, anywhere – all you need is an iPad or iPhone to begin using your E-Transcript electronic witness testimony transcripts on the go.

iPad/iPhone: The app opens up to a random transcript and doesn’t explain anything. You can add transcripts to read and highlight. iPhone text is very small, you would have to zoom in. The text auto fits the screen. Sometimes the bottom buttons disappear and you might need to leave the transcript and reopen it.

Mobile Transcript

iPad/

iPhone

or

iPad Ver.

View all transcripts for all cases by logging into this app. Lawyers must register for free online account and court reports upload the transcript to their account. Highlight key testimony with the tap of a finger and quickly e-mail selected points to associates or expert witnesses. The app logs the lawyer's billable time.

You have to sign up to use the app. They ask for a lot of information so that court reporters can find you.

iPad/iPhone: There are different apps for the devices. The iPad interface seems to be a slightly bigger version of the iPhone, because it doesn’t fit the entire screen.

Picture It Settled

iPhone/ Android

Picture It Settled™ Lite tracks the dollar moves in negotiation. But, perhaps more importantly, it also tracks the time interval between offers. The app then takes that offer history and extrapolates it out in both dollars and time to help the parties picture whether and when they might reach a deal. The actual offers are connected by solid lines and the extrapolations are dotted.

Android Phone: The interface isn’t very good. The wording and buttons are very small when there is enough room to make them bigger. Plus, the wording is a little blurry. Making/receiving an offer is easy to understand but once they give you a graph it isn’t explained. The demographics tab doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. Limited use.

iPhone: This app was the same as the Android and had the same issues.

TrialDirector

iPad

With TrialDirector for iPad, you can create a case folder, add exhibits to your case through a Dropbox™ or iTunes® account and interact with your evidence using the annotation and presentation tools. (written by inData Corporation)

iPad: This seems like a very useful app, but they want you to upgrade for more features. If you can keep using the current features then it is a very useful app. The app is easy to use and understand. A good way to keep everything together. You can only use the app in landscape.

APP NAME

SYSTEM

SUMMARY

EVALUATION

30/30

iPad/
iPhone

You set up a list of tasks, and a length of time for each of them. When you start the timer, it will tell you when to move on to the next task.

iPad/iPhone: The app has a nice looking interface. There are many ways to edit the tasks. It would take time to remember all the ways but it makes the app very easy. The timer keeps going when you exit the app, but there is no way to look at the time left unless you go back into the app. The iPhone is just like the iPad, but the interface fits both devices.

Box

iPad/
iPhone/
Android

With Box, you can access and share files anywhere, anytime. Our two-paned design shows a file on one side and your entire account on the other, keeping you nice and organized.

You have to sign up to use the app.

Android Phone: The app is easy to navigate and the interface works for the screen. You can upload files and create folders. The home screen lets you view all the files at once. This app seems to be very helpful for storing documents.

iPad/iPhone: These devices offered a tutorial. The documents are very small on the iPhone screen so you have to zoom in.

CallTrack

Android

CallTrack logs your phone activity to your Google Calendar. You can select the type of calls to log (incoming, outgoing, and missed) and the calendar to log them in. You can also dump your current call log to your calendar.

Android Phone: The app is one screen where you can turn on/off the call logging. It is only useful if you have a Google calendar.

CamScanner Phone PDF Creator

iPhone/ Android

CamScanner HD turns your tablet into a scanner. With CamScanner, you are able to digitize any paper documents by photo shooting. Simply take a picture of any paper documents such as receipts, agreements, notes, whiteboards and so forth, and CamScanner can auto-crop image, enhance image quality and create an industry standard PDF file. You can easily share the scanned documents via Email, Google Cloud Print, and fax, upload them to cloud like Dropbox, Google Docs, Box.net, and manage them by grouping or searching.

You have to register to use the cloud storage; there is also a premium version.

Android Phone: Converts a picture into a pdf. The cropping tool allows you to cut the document out and make the PDF with only the document. You can lighten it or turn it black/white. There are tons of options and tools to edit the picture.

iPhone: This app is similar to the Android. It is an impressive app if you use pdf documents.

Dragon Dictation

iPad/

iPhone

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

With Dragon Dictation you can also dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications (Facebook and Twitter) or send notes and reminders to yourself...all using your voice. So when you're on the go, stop typing and start speaking - from short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between.

iPhone/iPad: The interface is very simple. You dictate to the phone and it puts it in a note on the side of the screen. You can cut, copy, and email the dictation or place it on a social media site. While the iPad allowed you to keep old dictations, the iPhone only lets you see your current dictation.

Dropbox

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Dropbox is the place for your photos, docs, videos, and other files. Files you keep in Dropbox are safely backed up and you can get to them from all your devices. It's easy to send large files to anyone, even if they don't have a Dropbox account.

There is a desktop version as well.

Android Phone: This app is good for storage but it seems like it might be hard to find a certain file if you have a lot of files. Box allowed files to be uploaded from the phone. It has a simple interface that isn’t hard to use.

iPad/iPhone: The iPad interface shows the document on the right while the document list is shown on the left. The iPhone only shows the document and you have to go back to see the document list. The documents look like they are shrunk to fit the device screen which messes up the formatting.

Evernote

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Let Evernote change the way you organize your personal and professional projects. Dive in: take notes, create to-do lists, and save things you find online into Evernote. We'll sync everything between your phone, tablet, and computer automatically.

Android Phone: Evernote’s interface is intuitive and clean. You can create notes with text, audio, photos, and attachments, and then access those online or any other Evernote device. You can also group notes into notebooks for better organization. This app is very useful.

iPad/iPhone: The iPad interface was the best one I’ve seen. It allowed you to easily go through the different features. There were a lot of features that would be helpful and it syncs. But, unless you go premium, you can only access your notes with an internet connection.

Expensify

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Can't stand your expense reports? Look no further! Expensify makes capturing receipts, tracking time or mileage, business travel and creating expense reports quick and easy. Acknowledged by the tech community as the best app for expense reporting, Expensify takes the time, paper, and headaches out of your expense reports! Simply put, Expensify does expense reports that don't suck!

Upgrades are available for more features, such as unlimited SmartScans. There is also a business focused upgrade for even more specialized features.

The Mobile app is simplified, but generally functional. Limited categories not focused on the legal profession.

Links with a desktop app for more control over the program.

Google Drive

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Get started with Google Drive for free and have all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. All your files in Drive--like your videos, photos, and documents--are backed up safely so you can't lose them. Easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

Need a Google account.

iPhone: The app is easy to understand and the interface is neat. You can choose to preview the file or not. To edit, you have to get the latest doc app. The interface puts all the tools to the right or left and all you have to do is slide them over. This makes the home screen simple.

Android Phone: Works well and is intuitive. You can move around files with minimum hassle.

iPad: The interface is very easy to use; it is nice that you can see a preview of the file.

LinkedIn

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

The LinkedIn app  make it easy to connect and grow your network, engage with professional content and gain insights right from the updates feed.

iPad: The interface is easy to use, you have to pull down to see the options then when you choose one a screen pops out. To get back you have to exit out.

iPhone: The interface is different on the phone but it works just as good. You have the feed when it first opens, then you slide a button to open up the side options.

Android Phone: This interface was similar to the iPad because the options are listed on a pull out screen on the side. The app is very easy to use and understand.

Listnote Speech/Text Notepad

Android

Take notes even when you don't feel like typing! Just speak your note, and it will be saved as text. This notepad app was designed to quickly jot down your ideas, with minimal hassle. And it makes it easy to keep those ideas organized.

Android Phone: The app is simple enough. You can either speak or type the text. Speaking a note is fast and the speech recognition worked, so that makes the app helpful.

LogMeIn

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Remotely control your PCs and Macs over WiFi/3G with the LogMeIn/LogMeIn Ignition app.

You have to install the software onto the computer you want to access.

You have to buy a Pro subscription to keep remote access after the trial period is over.

Allows access to connected desktops and has a good record with customer support.

Parallels Access

iPad

Android

Remotely access and experience your Mac and Windows applications as if they were made for your iPad.

You need a subscription for it to work.

iPad: It is easy to set up and they give you a guide on how to get access to a computer.

SignNow

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Sign documents anywhere or get anyone’s signature.

You have to sign up but it is free.

iPad/iPhone: The app is simple and functional for what it is used for. It looks like at some point you have to upgrade to keep using the app. Both devices have similar interfaces, but the iPhone app is made to fit the screen. You can keep all your documents and specific signatures.

Android Phone: Similar experience to the iPhone.

SpiderOak

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

SpiderOak is a 'zero-knowledge' privacy cloud technologies company empowering file backup, sync and sharing from all devices including mobile.

You have to create your account on a computer.

 You get 2GB for free, with additional storage for a subscription fee. The big draw is that SpiderOak does only stores your password while you are using the app, after you are finished with your task SpiderOak clears all password data from their secured servers.

Square Register

iPad/

iPhone/ Android

Square Register is the free point-of-sale app that gives you everything you need to run and grow your business. Accept debit and credit cards, EMV chip cards, and Apple Pay with a Square magstripe reader, Square contactless and chip reader, or Square Stand. Funds are deposited fast--see money in your bank account in one to two business days. Use your POS to keep track and view analytics about your business. All this with no-long term contracts or surprise fees.

iPad/iPhone: When you sign up they mail you a free reader. But, they charge a 2.75% on each swipe. Intuitive interface.

There are certain features that can only be done on an iPad. There are a lot of free features.

Android Phone: The interface is very simple to use.

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