This is a guest post from Chelsea Wilson, the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s online LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Masters in Law degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world. Unless you see italics (which is me), she’s taking it from here:
Every professional could use a little bit of help streamlining operations. With the apps below, every attorney can breathe a little easier, work a little more efficiently and stay a bit more organized. You may even find you can carve out some of that “free time” we keep hearing about.
For most attorneys, legal research begins and ends with Westlaw or LexisNexis. There are times, however, when a cheaper alternative is needed. That’s where Fastcase (free) shines. Its database includes case law and statutory sources from both the state and federal levels. The software is also designed to deliver answers more efficiently than other solutions, so if you are considering using Fastcase try it out when you run dry on the traditional research platforms. With about a half-million users and subscription fees that are deeply discounted from the usual, Fastcase is well worth a test. And remember, all of this information is available on your android device while you are on the go. Click here for more information from The Droid Lawyer on Fastcase.
If the keyboard is your enemy, Dictadroid ($2.99) is your friend. All you need to do in order to enjoy accurate dictation is to click record and start talking. Dictadroid handles the typing from there, picking up words and writing a stream of text into your document. When you’re done talking, click stop and your text will be done. The software will start with a small error rate and then become more accurate as you use it. For those who are not the best typists, this is a great app to use to boost your efficiency and at $2.99 it’s cost effective.
You can check out my post here on Dictadroid, or this one at Attorney at Work. Dictadroid is certainly a favorite. Also, if you want something more like Dragon Naturally Speaking, check out this option.
Note taking is easy with a pad and pen, but if you want to share your notes or paste text into documents, you need a solution like Evernote (free). Evernote is a free and easy to use tool that helps you collect notes in any format. Don’t let the name fool you, you can do a lot more than take notes with Evernote. You can capture images, paste sections of statutes from websites and assemble your case research into an organized file. After that, your notes are easily searchable, sharable, and sync across devices. And as an added bonus, Evernote is great for keeping travel documents in order when a matter takes you out of town. The Droid Lawyer previously provided 4 tips on how to use Evernote effectively, be sure to check it out.
Those big files that “bounce back” with error messages every time you try to email them can be shared easily with Dropbox (free). The app costs nothing, takes seconds to sign up for, and even allows you to share files with those that aren’t users. It’s also a great way to simply store files. And if you need more space than what is provided initially, plans start at $9.99/mo and give you 100GB of storage. If you need a more robust feature set for administration and billing, Dropbox also offers other plans that may suit the needs of your practice better. You can find out more about Dropbox here.
Time Clock – Time Tracker
For most attorneys, the day is built around the billable hour. Time Clock ($6.99) is a great way for Android lovers to keep track of their time from their favorite devices. Adding expenses to bills is easy, and with plenty of related functions to help you analyze your time and track goals, Time Clock is a complete solution.
I haven’t looked at Time Clock, but after Chelsea’s review this app looks like a great addition to your Android arsenal. There are a couple things I like about the app: cost, ability to export to CSV and Dropbox or Google Drive, and an invoice system priced at $5/month. Check out this video for some more in-depth views:
If you are looking to use your time more efficiently, these apps are a great place to start. Once incorporated in to your daily routine, these apps can help make the life of any Android lawyer more efficient and organized.
Thanks for those app suggestions, Chelsea. If you think you can write better than Chelsea and you’d like to submit your guest post, please pitch your post.