Legal research apps seem to be gaining momentum. A majority of vendors are now offering their own mobile app for busy researchers on the go.
Research apps can be Apple- or Android-focused, free with your subscription, or vary in price.
Legal research apps tend to fall under the following categories:
- Current Awareness/News
The big three (Westlaw Next, Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law) provide seamless apps that you can truly use on the go. Other providers of research apps include CCH, FastCase, HeinOnline, SSRN, Black’s, and much more.
News apps can be broken down into two categories: Current Awareness and News Aggregation.
- Current Awareness apps include: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, ABA Journal, the American Lawyer, National Law Journal, Practical Law Journal, BNA, Law360, Above the Law, local news stations and typical general news sources.
- News Aggregation apps include: Zite, Flipboard, Feedly, Pulse and much more. I am sure most of us have our own personal favorite.
Out of all of the legal app categories, litigation apps are the most vast and overlapping with regards to performing similar tasks yet varying slightly in cost and functionality. Litigation apps can be broken into the following categories:
- Evidence (Trial Evidence)
- Objections (Courtroom Objections)
- Depositions (eDepoze)
- Testimony (iTestimony)
- Jury Selection (iJuror, Jury Pad, Jury Star)
- e-Discovery (e-Discovery Assistant)
- Transcript Review (Depo Plus, Transcript Pad)
- Dockets (DkT, FedCt Records)
Transactional apps seem to be more on the limited side focusing on finance. Bloomberg, Yahoo! And CNN are among these apps.
Finally, productivity apps are also very wide ranging, highlighting:
- Presentations (Haiku Deck, KeyNote, Prezi)
- Personal Productivity and Organization (Evernote, Dropbox, Feedly)
- Date Calculators (Court Days Pro, DocketLaw, SmartDockets)
There are many library guides outlining the various legal research apps out there. A few guides I particularly found useful were:
- University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Library’s “Apps for Lawyers, Law Faculty and Law Students: Legal Apps”
- UCLA School of Law’s “Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers: Apps for Legal Research & News.”
Download some of these legal research apps to your tablet or smartphone and start exploring which ones work for you and then you can demo these for your users. Happy Apping!