Top Ten legal apps

Here is a recommended list of “Must-have” legal apps from TechNews24h. Some are US-related resources. Read the full post with complete descriptions here.

  1. Pushlegal. US Federal and State Rules and Codes, Case Law, Google Scholar links.
  2. Black’s Law Dictionary. The standard for the US.
  3. Pocket Justice. (iTunes | Android) Recordings and transcripts of the US Supreme Court  public proceedings.
  4. Fastcase. (iTunes | Android) Federal and all 50 states statutes and case law. (We all use this at Legal Yankee for US law).
  5. dLAw. For android—Federal Rules, can add State regs and codes.
  6. Depose. Android App for taking depositions, add exhibits, import questions, templates. Read a detailed review here.
  7. WestlawNext. (iTunes | Android) The tablet app, which syncs to the web version. Over 40k databases of case law, state and federal law, administrative codes, and secondary resources. I use this almost every day.
  8. iPleading. (iTunes | Android) Write pleadings using templates from all 50 US states.
  9. JuryPad. iPad app for assistance in conducting voir dire.
  10. LegalViewer. This is a PDF viewer, but designed with the lawyer in mind—allows for highlighting text, strikethrough, search, annotation, etc.

 

Law Student News (Aug 2015)

newsletter screen shotThe end-of-summer newsletter for law students is out! This issue includes law student news and links, including

  • All digital dowloads are discounted during August
  • Suggest reading lists for summer law students
  • Law Student Blog of the month
  • Free CLRI exam study sheets contest

Click below to read the newsletter online or to subscribe to the newsletter.

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Document review software: DocReviewPad (for iPad)

Document review is a crucial and often tedious part of the practice of law. I remember the hours I spent doing just that in the law firm where I worked while obtaining my degree. I used technology as much as I could: scanning the documents and OCRing them, using DevonThink to store, tag, categorize, and arrange; using Adobe Acrobat Pro to Bates Stamp them for production. It worked pretty well, but the actual reading thousands of pages and marking them up on-screen was not elegant or particularly easy.

Doc review iPadLit Software has released document review software for the iPad that would have made all of this so much easier. You can import all your documents, assign Bates Numbers, tags, customs codes, annotate, highlight, and notate. After review, the app allows you to export a set of documents based on criteria you assign based on all the  tags, categories, and codes you have used (i.e., export all documents that were produced by X, categorized as “bank records” but not those tagged as “privileges.”

If you are working at a law firm doing document review, I highly recommend this document review software. I have played with it for a while and find it faster than hand-reviewing and a better solution than my codged-together process. If I were a student, I might consider buying it even if I was not working, because I would also use it for collecting notes and texts for study, though some of the functions wouldn’t be needed (though why not Bates stamp your law references and notes?!).

iPhone JD has an excellent and extensive review of the app here.

Visit the developer’s product page here, or click below to go to the Apple app store.

 

Password Managers for Law Students

access-data-694539_640Following on my post from last week (“Top Five Ways to Guard Against Data Theft“), here is a post about password managers from iPhone JD, a website devoted to lawyers who use iPhones and iPads.

Hacking has become not only more ubiquitous in the news, but more sophisticated and widespread. It is not only large companies and governments who are hacked, but individuals. Lawyers, with the confidentiality aspects of the profession, should pay close attention to security. Yet law students should also take care for the same reason everyone should—increasingly, hackers are targeting accounts for identity theft. Some of these are using advanced automated systems to continually attack accounts. Most people use the same password or two for all of their accounts. If a hacker can get access to your Snapchat account, for instance, you may not care too much—change the password or open a new account. But if that password is the same as you bank account, Paypal account, Amazon account, eBay account, then that hacker can steal from you.

1Password logoA password manager solves that problem. The most popular are 1Password and Lastpass. I began using 1Password recently, and have berated myself for not doing it sooner. I’ll describe my use of that program, though they are all similar. The computer app (and iOS app) puts all of your passwords, credit card data, banking information, email accounts, in one encrypted database. The database has a password, of course, but that password is stored nowhere but in your brain. (If this scares you, write it on a piece of paper, or tell it to you spouse or parent, or write it in the back of a special book on a shelf.)

The password manager also has a password generator, which produces complex and random passwords that are almost impossible for a hacker to crack. It will automatically fill the password in for you on any website account and place it in your database. When you need to revisit the site, you can choose the name of the site (i.e., Amazon) and it will open the login page, fill in your info, and hit enter. On my iPhone and iPad, I can use my fingerprint to open the program.

For myself, an extra benefit. years ago I began keeping all my passwords and security data in a database program that was password protected. every time I needed one, I would have to open it, find the password, copy and paste. But sometimes I hadn’t bothered to put the password there, and had to use the “forgot my password” function. Additionally, if a family member forgets their password to a service (which is more often that I think it should be) I can quickly find it for them.

Having complex passwords that are different for each services has given me a peace of mind. It is not so much that I have anything worth hacking, but a bank account breach or unauthorized purchases would be a hassle. 1Password is on sale now for Mac and Windows, and the iOS and Android versions are free (premium version is $9.99 if you want more types of security records).

iPhone JD has much more information, and reasons, why you should be using a password manager. Read his article here, which also includes a number of links to more security expert articles.

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