Sep 26 2014

6 iOS Apps That Lawyers Should Be Using

Two mobile-loving legal professionals share some of their go-to apps that other attorneys might want to start using too.

As the work to prepare for a court case moves from the law firm’s office to the road, lawyers must be equipped with the best mobile tools for the field.

The Legal Toolkit Podcast, part of the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center, recently invited Jeff Richardson, the author behind iPhone J.D., a blog dedicated to all things iOS through a legal-tech filter. In addition to Richardson’s faves, podcast host Heidi Alexander shared her must-have apps as well.

Useful iPhone Apps for Lawyers

  1. Overcast: This is a new app from Marco Arment, of Instapaper and Tumblr fame, that allows you to maximize your podcast listening time. Users can speed up the pace of the podcast and skip the pauses between words. This is great for those who love listening to podcasts but don’t always have the full-time commitment to dedicate to them.
  2. Ita: At first glance, you might not think of this basic list-making app as an essential tool, but sometimes all you need is a really good list to keep you on track. Richardson is fond of this no-frills app because he views it as a digital replacement for ye olde legal pad. “What I like about ITA is that it’s incredibly clean and simple,” he said.
  3. Launch Center Pro: Are you ready for automated liftoff? The key value proposition of this app is its ability to automatic tasks. The IFTTT service is incredibly popular on the web, and Launch Center Pro allows users to create similarly simple but useful triggers. For example, Richardson was able to set it up that sharing an image with his wife becomes a one-step process.

Useful iPad Apps for Lawyers

  1. GoodReader: This app is primarily known as a PDF reader, but it actually allows users to store and access all kinds of files in a traditional folder structure, which iOS doesn’t natively allow. Richardson uses this app to organize his case files and access them whenever, wherever.
  2. Microsoft Word for iPad: The suite of productivity tools is a fact of life in every law firm and now that it’s available for the iPad, it has immediately shot up to the top of every lawyer’s must-have list. Richardson is a major fan of the iOS version of the suite. “You need to be able to be on the road and look at something the client sent you and mark it up and send it back,” he said.
  3. Transcript Pad: Court reporters are responsible for producing transcripts from trials and now lawyers can access these transcripts on the go with their mobile devices. Transcript Pad makes accessing these transcripts a cinch, but even more importantly, it allows lawyers to highlight, annotate and code their notes so that they can quickly and easily look up the parts most relevant to them. “By the time I’ve finished going through my transcript, I haven’t just highlighted, I’ve indicated why it’s important,” Richardson said.

To hear more of the iOS apps and accessories that lawyers should add to their repertoire, listen to the complete Legal Toolkit Podcast below.