Blackberry Apps for Lawyers

Posted on July 21, 2009. Filed under: Productivity |

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This week’s Daily Record column is entitled “Blackberry Apps for Lawyers.”

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

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After reading last week’s article about iPhone apps for lawyers, a regular reader e-mailed me to request a similar article for Blackberry owners.

As the familiar expression goes: “Ask and ye shall receive.”

After some research, I located a number of Blackberry applications that would be useful for attorneys; but, it wasn’t easy.

I was happy to discover how easy it was to locate the “Blackberry App World,” the official Blackberry app store. My happiness quickly turned to consternation, however, when I realized I could only peruse the app store if I downloaded the app store program — using only Internet Explorer or a Blackberry. Unfortunately, I’m a Mac gal and had access to neither.

Nevertheless, I managed to unearth an assortment of Blackberry applications that would benefit just about any law practice.

First, there a number of apps consisting of databases of federal and state laws, which allow lawyers to carry relevant laws and rules in their pockets in an easily accessible format.

From the developer “The Law Pod,” lawyers can purchase the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence and the U.S. Constitution.

Also, lawpda.com provides state statutes for California, Texas and Florida.

There is a legal dictionary —Beiks Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, for $19.95.

And there are a number of apps that, while not targeted specifically toward lawyers, could prove very useful.

First, for managing and creating documents, there’s the eOffice 4.6 Mobile Office Suite. It costs $29.95, and allows you to work with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Files you’ve created can be shared using the Bluetooth File Sharing app, which costs only $9.99.

The RDM+:Remote Desktop for Mobiles app costs $39.99 and allows remote access to your desktop via your Blackberry, dates, DateMathica, from Shrunken Head Software, a date calculator that costs $9.99, is worth a look.

Another useful product from that same company is BizTrackIt, at $39.99, which allows you to track billable/unbillable time by project and e-mail time record reports in CSV file format or synchronize them to your PC using Desktop Manager.

With Viigo RSS Reader, a free app, you can keep up with all the news as it comes in.
Skype, the well-known VOIP software that provides unlimited long distance phone calls, now is available for Blackberrys as well, and it’s free.

Winscribe dictation software also is available, and provides online and offline functionality with secure data and voice transmission.

Last, but not least —a number of assorted apps of interest. The Wikipock Basic Edition, at $9.99, allows you to have access to all of Wikipedia, even if you have no internet connection.

Another popular online service, Evernote, is now available for Blackberrys. The free application allows you to capture photos, notes and voice memos, which then can be synced with your desktop Evernote client.

Finally, a free and very popular online application, Pandora, is available to Blackberry owners. Pandora is your very own personalized radio that streams music directly to your Blackberry. Radio stations can be created and tweaked to suit your
preferences by indicating which songs you like best, and least.

So, if you’re a diehard Blackberry fan, or simply own a Blackberry because you have no other choice, there are apps out there that can improve your Blackberry experience, increase your efficiency and improve your law practice.

Give them a try!

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8 Responses to “Blackberry Apps for Lawyers”

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One last Blackberry tool, though not an actual downloadable app…PBworks. The Mobile Edition is viewable via Blackberry. Attorneys who use PBworks can access case management, documents, etc., using the Blackberry.

The RIM-Microsoft tie-in is hard to overcome for the Mac crowd. I’ve been a BlackBerry user for over 2 years now, and I absolutely loathe the App World concept.

You can find plenty of great apps through other channels, as noted here.

The latest versions of the BlackBerry OS (4.5.x and up) come with a free version of the excellent Documents to Go, which allows you to view and edit the big MS Office formats (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). There is a premium version that includes a PDF viewer, but it is pricey at nearly $70.

If you also use your BlackBerry as your cell phone (oddly, many attorneys I’ve met don’t) I highly recommend myCallLog from Toysoft. The cost is around $10, but it creates a new calendar appointment immediately after every call, including the type of call (incoming, outgoing, missed), the phone number and, if it’s a known contact, the person’s name. The new appointment will have start and end times that correspond to the call times. This is very handy for folks who have to bill for everything, and it’s a great alternative to the anemic Call Log app that is part of the BlackBerry OS.

If you’re productivity-minded, or if you practice the GTD style of task management, I recommend TodoMatrix by RexWireless. This one is expensive ($70), but it is the best task manager I’ve found for the BlackBerry.

There are a few digital dictation apps coming to market, as well – one from Philips and another from BigHand. I suggest a google search for those, as I don’t have any hands-on experience with them.

Of course, I also use Google Maps and the newly-released Google Voice, along with a bunch of other handy apps that aren’t necessarily useful to me *as a lawyer*, but are useful nonetheless.

For both lawyers and GTD’ers, we suggest a free trial of MyCaption.com. You can sign up and start using it in minutes. It handles dictations of up to 3 minutes long, accurately. Within a few minutes, your email is delivered to the recipient, or your memo is saved and synchronized. You can also review before sending out the email, putting you in control of 100% delivered accuracy, in a matter of minutes.

[...] Nicole Black highlights an assortment of Blackberry applications for research, document management, mobile communications, news, music, dictation and more – all of which would benefit just about any law practice. Posted in Gadgets & Technology, Legal Websites and Software. Leave a Comment » [...]

Wanted to add Reuters News Pro for BlackBerry & iPhone.
Applications features include:

Extensive world, business and market news
Global financial data
Corporate information
Personalized stock tab
The latest sports, science, health, technology and entertainment news
Fast on or offline access to the latest breaking news
Full story articles and photos optimized for easy reading on your mobile device
And much more

http://uk.reuters.com/tools/mobile

Its much better than Microsofts phone OS platform. RIM has been doing this for quite some time. GO BlackBerry

A few good points, I get what your saying, but I dont think there is any way I would ever go back from an iPhone! and theres plenty of good apps for law firms on there!


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