Top 5 iPhone apps for Attorneys
Lawyers are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to be more productive, make their clients happier, and improve their bottom line. More importantly, they want to be able to access information on the go and continue working from their smartphone.
In the following article, I will discuss some of the most popular iPhone apps for legal research, time tracking, document management, offline signature capture, and even speech recognition software. Let’s take a look at five of the top options.
What it is: Fastcase mobile is the largest free law library app on the iPhone and it uses smart search technology from Fastcase’s fully-featured web-based legal research application, which allows you to sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, customize and re-sort search results, and integrate citation analysis tools right into the results list.
Why you should have it: The obvious benefits of having a law library in your pocket is having the option to do research on the go, either while waiting outside a courtroom or while commuting. The less obvious benefit is that you could find more billing opportunities for research time, and charge your clients accordingly. To get the most out of Fastcase, you will need to register an account so that you can save favorites and your own customized search history.
What it is: Toggl is the most popular cloud based time tracking tool for accurate and transparent client billing, simple employee time management or for increasing personal productivity. You can check your time usage reports inside the app or export complete timesheets from the web version.
Why you should have it: Lawyers are always searching for a good time tracking app to organize their time entries and make it easy for their clients to see what they’re billing for. Toggl is an easy to use app that enables lawyers to log their time both online and offline, set up projects, clients, tasks, and tags – and also mark time logs as billable or non-billable. The data also syncs with Toggl’s web version of the app, allowing lawyers to export reports and time sheets to show their clients.
What it is: Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon Naturally Speaking technology that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. They claim it’s up to 5 times faster than typing on the keyboard.
Why you should have it: We all know lawyers are busy professionals so anything that could save them time during the day could make a huge difference in how they run their practice. With Dragon Dictation, lawyers can write text and email messages just by talking to their phone, without the need to manually type the message on their keyboard. You can also dictate status updates directly to your social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. The only main downside to this app is that sometimes it doesn’t pick up every word here and there, but overall, you can save a few hours a week on writing email alone.
What it is: There’s really no need to explain what Microsoft Word is, but until recently it hasn’t been available for the iPhone or other mobile devices.
Why you should have it: Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing tool on the planet. Chances are, most lawyers use Microsoft Word to draft documents, write memos, and compose contracts. Now that Microsoft has made Word available to iPhone users, lawyers can now view, share, and edit documents on the go. However, it’s important to note that the free version is limited. The free version allows you to view, create, and edit documents, however the full word experience and premium features requires a qualifying Office 365 subscription.
What it is: DocuSign provides a simple and secure way to electronically sign documents and collect signatures from others. The app eliminates the hassles, costs, and lack of security in printing, faxing, scanning, and overnighting documents for signature.
Why you should have it: Many lawyers are involved with writing and sending contracts all day and that requires a lot of signatures. DocuSign enables lawyers on the go to sign any document online for free, no pen or paper required. You can create a signature and initials either by using your finger or stylus, uploading a picture of your signature, or selecting one of the preformatted styles. It’s always free to sign any documents sent to you, but a premium subscription allows you to send documents out for signature. This app could be quite useful for getting clients to sign off on documents or contracts without the need for them to come and physically sign it.