Attorney at Work has listed the top iPhone and iPad apps being used by lawyers at the start of 2012 according to National Purchasing Partners and Verizon (NPP) together with a bonus download with descriptions and links to more than 30 of the most popular iPhone and iPad apps for lawyers, organized by trial and pretrial apps, reference apps and apps to aid productivity.
The top ten list is available here: “Top iPhone and iPad Apps for Lawyers” and the bonus download from NPP is available here: “Bonus Guide: 30 Top iPhone and iPad Apps for Lawyers“.
While some of the most popular apps are of a more general kind (LinkedIn and G-Park for assistance in finding your car if you have forgotten where you parked it), here is a description of some of the more specific legal professional apps on the top 30 list:
- Things – a “to-do-app” that helps you manage tasks, notes, due dates and projects.
- GoodReader – a PDF reader for the iPad that allows you to read virtually anything, anywhere: books, movies, maps and more, as well as to mark up PDFs.
- Auditorium Notes – a multitasker app that allows you to take notes and record audio simultaneously, with a handy way to organize, review and share your audio and text notes from meetings, classes and conferences.
- Evernote – a webb organizer that helps you remember anything and everything from notes to ideas to snapshots to recordings, with instant synchronizing from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac or Windows desktop.
- QuickOfﬁce Mobile Suite – the essential Microsoft Ofﬁce productivity tool with advanced editing of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint ﬁles, with integrated ﬁle management and convenient access to multiple cloud services.
- Fastcase – an app for caselaw research in the USA, including cases, statutes, regulations, court rules and constitutions.
- TrialPad – an app for trial preparation and presentation. It combines the features of keynote with a robust filing interface to make organizing and presenting a trial binder more effective in court.
Other good apps that are not included in this list, but that have been recommended by for example, Stephanie Kimbro of Virtual Law Practice in “Using the iPad with My Virtual Law Practice“, are:
- SignMyPad Pro – which allows you to sign any document from your iPad. The Pro version of the app tags the GPS location and date/time stamp in the metadata of the PDF when it’s saved.
- LogMeIn – usable when you are traveling and have forgotten to upload something from your laptop to any online resource.
- Dropbox – can be used for storing documents, but due to security issues you should not store confidential information here.
- Skype for iPad – for basic web conferencing.
In Sweden a new legal app for ABL, i.e. the Swedish Companies Act (Sw. Aktiebolagslagen), was recently released by Swedish law firm Glimstedt. And last month, the Apple Apps Store released the Total Attorneys practice management platform’s iPad and iPhone app. This app allows a lawyer to operate a law practice from the iPad and/or iPhone with secure access to the virtual law office platform. Case and client management features are all integrated into the app, and it syncs with the full browser version of the software.
On the site iPad4Lawyers you can find more good advice on how to use iPad in legal practice by Tom Mighell. At Lawyerist.com there are also often advice on useful software and apps, like in the post “Free software I can’t live without” by Sam Glover, where the easy file encryption software TrueCrypt is recommended for increased data security.
However, when discussing the usability of iPad apps, the issue of security need to be addressed. As Stephanie Kimbro comments in Using the iPad with My Virtual Law Practice “Security on mobile devices is still a concern of mine. I’m probably more conservative in my use of the iPad than most, but then again, the majority of my communications with my clients online are handled through a system with end-to-end encryption of the data. I’m striving here to find the responsible balance between security and cost and time savings. It’s that risk/benefit analysis that constantly changes as the technology and software evolves.” After having tested the new Total Attorney’s platform, Stephanie Kimbro has a more positive view, expressed in her article “Release of iPad App for Virtual Practice“: “There has been much discussion about how lawyers need to be careful about using mobile devices for elawyering. I believe a secure system like this that carries over the encryption and other security measures from the full version is the safer way to go if you are a lawyer who intends to work directly with clients and/or with their case files or other lawyers on a cloud-based system.”