When I was studying law, I experimented a good bit with using apps to help me learn more efficiently. I eventually settled on a number of apps (for both my computer and mobile apps) that worked quite well. One characteristic I especially looked for was that the app could sync between my various devices, so I could study, test myself, and review no matter where I was. While not all of the apps could do this, most can (and increasingly more do).

Here are the apps that I found the most useful. Click the links below to view more about them and download or purchase them. (This is Apple-centric because that is what I use, but I know many of these have version for other platforms as well.)

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Evernote. It was in Evernote that I would write up summaries and outlines of my reading and lectures. I cerated a notebook for each course, and within each, a separate note for each subtopic within the course. As the year went on, I refined and added to them. Once I was ready to study for exams, I would write a new note that was a brief summary/outline of each subtopic.

Mac app
iPhone app
iPad app

NewImageScrivener. This is a fantastics program for writing and editing. I used it to research, write, and edit papers. (We also used it to produce our study aid books for law students.)

Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)
Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Education Licence)
Scrivener for Windows (Regular Licence)
Scrivener for Windows (Education Licence)

NewImageOmniOutliner. As its name implies, this is an outlining app. One of the best in ease of use, but also a wide variety of options and looks if you want to delve into that. Once I finished a chapter of study (subtopic of a course), I would outline the subtopic in OmniOutliner. I used this outline in conduction with Evernote to revise and edit a final set of study notes.

Mac app (OmniOutliner)
Mac app (OmniOutliner Pro)
iPad app

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OmniGraffle. I began using this program to draw outlines and flowcharts, though later I switched to Scapple (below). A visual representation of the connections and flow of legal topics helped me a lot. We later used these diagrams for our study aid books for law students.)

Mac app

iPad app



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Scapple. This is the diagramming and flowcharting program I eventually settled on (once it became available). It does not have as much flexibility in drawing and graphics as Omnigraffle, but it is much quicker in setting up a diagram.

Mac app






NewImageMental Case. This is a flashcard program on steroids. Great for testing oneself on cases, statutes, terms, and concepts. It keeps track of right/wrong answers and adjusts the tests accordingly so you review problem cards more often than ones you get right.

Mac app
iPhone app
iPad app

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DevonThink. I did not end up using this as much as I thought I would. It is a complete document analysis and repository app, with tagging and categorization. I used if far more at the law firm where I clerked for document analysis for discovery, case management, and analysis of evidence than for law studies.

Mac app
iPhone app
iPad app




NewImageAeon Timeline. A really nice timeline and chronology program. I used this on occasion when I needed to get a timeline in my head clearly. For instance, where there was a long series of cases in the development of a particular doctrine. I used it extensively when I took The History of English Law and Jurisprudence.
Mac App

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