In the past year, I’ve been an active IPhone user and download at least one new app every few weeks. In doing so, I’ve come across some applications that lawyers might like.
Although many large law firms won’t give up their Blackberrys, the IPhone is ideal for smaller firms that don’t have the same issues faced by IT (Information Technology) departments at bigger firms. Of course, if you work at a law firm that mandates Blackberries, you might still use an IPhone for work that doesn’t involve client security/confidentiality issues.
Here are my 10 suggested IPhone apps for lawyers:
1) Dial Zero — When you want to speak with a live person at a major company instead of endless “please continue to hold, your call will be answered in the order that it was received.” It really works and I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I reached Time Warner Cable last week.
2) ABA Journal – A fine app from the American Bar Association that has breaking legal news and links to stories appearing in The ABA Journal. Very nice interface.
3) Google Earth — Yes, you can have the whole world in your hands. Great travel tool and for satellite closeups of land. Highly recommended for real estate/land use attorneys as well as attorneys who need to research precise locations of auto accidents, construction accidents, etc.
4) Open Table — When you need a lunch or dinner reservation on short notice in any major city in the U.S. and overseas. “Search by Neighborhoods” is great tool. A runner-up would be Urban Spoon, which uses GPS to determine your location then displays restaurants in your area. It’s quite accurate but not as useful for reservations as Open Table. The link here compares the two.
5) ITranslate – A great application that translates instantly. For example: “Can you please give me directions to the courthouse?” in Spanish: “Podrian darme direcciones a la corte?” (The app even gives you exact spelling of foreign words with accents, something I can’t do yet with this blogging program so please forgive the oversight).
6–LinkedIn — Build your business network, create or join a group, and email those in your network while on the go.
7) Police Radio — Police scanner that also includes fire departments and EMS for many cities and suburbs around the United States; good one especially for criminal defense and personal injury attorneys — and those of us who remember Adam-12.
8)TripIt – A user-friendly app for letting people know your itinerary (works closely with sites like LinkedIn and Flight Tracker).
9) CEO Express – Although not an independent application, the app button takes you to the the website of the same name that contains hundreds of links to newspapers, magazines, business/legal information, and productivity tools. There’s a section on “Law” with links to FindLaw, Martindale-Hubbell, state/federal codes, and other sections devoted to the SEC and Government Agencies.
10) Blogging/social media apps – Since there are so many, I bunched them under #10. If you blog, you might like the apps for WordPress, TypePad and Posterous. There are also so many apps for Twitter use and the new Facebook app has a much improved interface. Note: Facebook is increasingly being used for business and the demographics of Facebook users continues to increase every year.
Finally, If you are trying to get some work done at home and your child is bored, hand them the IPHONE and let them (gently) play with your LightSaber app (very cool) or the Grand Lite, a great-sounding piano keyboard that is also an audio delight for adults, too. You can also give them a quick introduction to the law by downloading a free copy of the U.S. Constitution application and have them read it. Then you might give them a break and let them watch some (age-appropriate) video clips on the YouTube app.
And when you want some entertainment for yourself that’s also about the law, check out Weird Laws. It contains a look at funny/strange state and local laws that are reportedly still on the books, such as in Long Beach, CA, where it is “illegal to curse on a mini-golf course. ” Or, in Sarah Palin’s State of Alaska, “illegal to feed alcoholic beverages to a moose.” In Hartford, Connecticut, it’s illegal for a man to kiss his wife on Sunday.