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What are the best apps for lawyers?

29th August 2017

Person using iPhone

Whether you are already a practicing solicitor or a new graduate browsing our range of top lawyer jobs for the perfect role, the chances are that you will already be dependent on technology in your day-to-day life.

More and more we are relying on the latest innovations to help us navigate almost every area of our lives. From directions and shopping to movies and dating, it seems that practically everything we need and enjoy is now just a few clicks away.

For ambitious legal experts, cutting-edge technology takes on a particularly important dimension. In this article, we will explore in detail some of the very best apps and programmes which are helping lawyers around the UK and beyond stay organised and win their cases.

PDF Expert 

Man working on laptop during meeting

We all know that PDF files are extremely useful and have long been an essential tool for countless professionals around the world. However, it is also the case that PDFs can often have usability issues; from slow loading times to the inability to edit error-strewn text, there are many ways in which traditional PDF providers don’t always make life easy for the end user.

One platform which has transformed the PDF user experience completely however, is PDF Expert from Readdle. We caught up with Denys Zhadanov, VP of Marketing at Readdle, who told us about PDF Expert’s most impressive features and listed some of the ways in which it is helping the lawyers who use it to work smarter and faster:

1) “PDF Expert helps win trial cases by building brilliant argumentation strategy. Sometimes, lawyers have to work with thousands of documents during the trial. Most of them are in PDF format. Using PDF Expert, they can easily mark up and add comments to the most important issues, export them as a separate file or quickly navigate between annotations during the hearings.

“A lot of our legal users prefer to do the ‘dirty’ work on their Macs, transfer the final PDF file to the iPad and use it in court on the go.

2) “As I mentioned before, managing thousands of PDFs can be one hell of a task. So combining them into a single PDF document might be a wise trick. This also simplifies navigation and sharing with advisories and courts.

3) “Our app offers fast and simple performance. A PDF Expert user told us a story about when he had a 20,000 page PDF file during a trial. When other PDF editors might be opening it for a few minutes or even crash, PDF Expert does it in a second.

4) “Some other handy tools include:

  • You can easily redact sensitive information from any PDF file. PDF Expert will burn out anything desired, whether it’s a bank account number or someone’s date of birth.
  • Wide sharing options including Box, Google Drive, Dropbox, email and others.
  • Images and links editing, and text editing to fix typos. Create referrals by adding links to the text or images for the adversary’s questions during the discovery process.
  • File size redaction helps you share files by email and save your Mac memory.”

Dragon Professional Individual

Nuance Dragon Professional Individual box

As much as we may sometimes want it to be, the legal profession is not a career choice which often allows its practitioners much time to sit back and spend hours carefully crafting the perfect paragraph. Now more than ever, we need tools which help us to minimise the amount of time we spend doing menial tasks, and therefore maximise the time we can spend thinking about the bigger picture.

Speech recognition and dictation programmes have been around for a relatively long while, but it would be fair to say that their performance has been something of a mixed bag for most of that time (to put it mildly!) One company which specialises in providing ultra-reliable, highly accurate dictation software, however, is Nuance Communications.

Their suite of Dragon speech recognition platforms offers professionals the very best options in this field, and we were delighted to hear more from the team behind them about their most appropriate product for lawyers – Dragon Professional Individual:

“Document-intensive industries like the legal profession benefit from any tool that helps practitioners boost their productivity and the amount of billable work they can produce during the day. Dragon Professional Individual from Nuance Communications enables legal professionals to dictate at up to 160 words per minute, with accuracy rates of up to 99%. As we speak three times faster than we type, Dragon is invaluable for quickly and accurately creating key legal documents as well as creating and replying to correspondence between legal teams and clients.

“With the power of Dragon on your desktop, transcription costs for notes and audio files – a significant expense in the legal field – can be reduced dramatically. With all these benefits to enjoy, today, many legal professionals globally are already taking advantage of the latest developments in desktop speech recognition technology to tangibly improve their efficiency and competitive edge, and increase their customer satisfaction levels.”

iStudiez Pro

It may be the case, of course, that you have not yet completed your studies and are reading this in preparation for when you enter the legal industry. Your first priority, though, will be getting the qualifications you need to be considered for that dream job.

One tool which has helped a vast number of students in many countries get themselves organised (which, as any parent will tell you, is not the easiest thing in the world) is iStudiez Pro, an award-winning student planner that can assist its users in virtually every area of their lives.

Here’s what the team at iStudiez Pro have to say about the best features of their amazing software:

1) “The app manages virtually EVERYTHING that can be related to the academic life: schedule, homework, online classes, exams, instructors, notes. So wherever a student is, they have all that they need with them to make sure they keep up with the pace of their studying.

2) “iStudiez Pro automatically syncs data to all the devices a student has: Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and any Android devices. That's super handy.

3) “A student stays notified with everything they choose to: upcoming tasks, classes, exams, and even dates!

4) “Speaking of dating (we believe law students do that too, just in a more organised way maybe), iStudiez Pro can integrate data from third-party calendars, keeping all their info (both academic and personal) in the same place. That helps a student to grasp a whole picture of their busy life.

“iStudiez Pro has been on the market for more than seven years, each year being the absolute favourite among students all over the world. And we proudly continue our development and growth - a lot of new things are on their way.”

OfficeTime

Man working on tablet

Time is becoming an ever more precious – and rare - commodity in our increasingly hectic world. It is therefore essential that we learn to take advantage of any innovations which come along allowing us to account for and make the most out of the limited time we have (whilst keeping our outgoings at a minimum).

One app which deals with this very matter is OfficeTime. Check out what the people behind it had to say about how, thanks to their ingenious programme, keeping track of time has never before saved so much time.

“OfficeTime provides lawyers and other bill-for-time professionals the tools necessary to keep track of billable time and expenses on the go. Available for PC, Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch, OfficeTime organizes and categorises billing information by project, task, or client.

“Some of the top features of OfficeTime include:

  • Easy time tracking with a stop-and-start clock (we focused on simplicity, recognising that if time is difficult to track, people won't track it and it will cost the company money in lost billings). 
  • Calculating the per-minute cost of your time as you work. 
  • Quick generation of invoices. 
  • One-time purchase (no subscriptions).
  • The Apple Watch version enables users to stop and start time tracking for client projects and meetings without having to remember to log the time when they get back to their office.

“OfficeTime also includes compatibility with various calendar systems, including iCal, which allows users to view billing and time-tracking information within their current calendar systems.”

iAnnotate

Man working on laptop

Last but not least, we have iAnnotate. An unbelievably useful tool for iPad and iPhone users, it allows people to annotate, review and share their documents with unparalleled ease – something which, unsurprisingly, many lawyers have found useful since the app first launched back in 2011. Here’s how the iAnnotate team summarise why their product has been, and continues to be, such a success:

“iAnnotate is the best app for reading and marking up documents. Lawyers love the app, using it to highlight case law, review manuscripts, take notes for meetings and more. Our customers consistently describe iAnnotate as ‘fast, easy and efficient.’

“What sets iAnnotate apart is our focus on document markup and review. To us, this means that iAnnotate should be as fast and natural as reading and writing on paper. Our app is designed entirely around this goal.

“iAnnotate is available as a paid download from the App Store. We also offer enterprise options for interested customers.”

Image Credit: Oliur Rahman, Rawpixel.com, Nuance, iStudiez Pro, Olu Eletu