Lighten your book load by using ebooks! Many legal books are now available for mobile devices—whether through services like Amazon’s Kindle platform or through free resources, such as those offered by CALI’s eLangdell Bookstore. The eLangdell Bookstore has a variety of free legal ebooks under the Creative Commons license that are available across multiple platforms: PDF, ePub (for non-Kindle reading devices), Mobi (for Kindle), and even MS Word. A few of the topics covered: property, contracts, basic legal citation, evidence, securities law, Federal Rules of Evidence/Civil Procedure/Criminal Procedure, and ethics of tax law. With your CALI username and password you can often access more e-content, too. If you don’t have a CALI account, contact the reference desk and ask for the CALI code. Save your back the effort and try reading an ebook!
Kaplan provides a free MBE flashcard app and instructional videos to help you prepare for the Multistate Bar Exam. The app focuses on torts, contracts, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence, and real property. It also contains a concept reference guide to common legal topics. This app is certainly one of the best free study aids currently on the market.
Themis Bar Review offers a great bar review app, providing some services free to current law students and offering their full bar prep course to those who have paid for the service. Current law students have access to comprehensive outlines with exam tips, on-demand review lectures, handouts, assessment questions, and apps for iOS, Android, and e-reader devices. First year students are given these materials for civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, property, and torts, while upper-level students have access to constitutional law, corporations, criminal procedure, evidence, and wills and trusts.
If you’re looking for a less intense study aid than the Kaplan MBE flashcards or Themis, there are several apps under the Law School Dojo brand that offer fun and engaging quizzes. They offer two quizzes free of charge—“Know Your Rights” and the classic Law School Dojo quiz with more generalized questions—as well as several paid apps ($2.99/each) on civil procedure, torts, contracts, criminal law and procedure, income tax, and international law. Law School Dojo is a great way to keep yourself engaged even during those stressful exam periods.
One of the best parts of having legal apps for mobile devices is the ability to stay up-to-date on all the latest news. Whether you’re trying to stay up-to-date with the profession as a whole, or if you’re interested in tracking the latest developments in specific areas like Electronic Discovery, there are several great apps to keep you informed.
LegalEdge from JD Supra is one of the most comprehensive legal news apps available. This free app covers many different areas of the legal profession with updates, news, and recent case filings. Among the many subtopics covered are Labor & Employment, Immigration Law, Legal Marketing, and Communications & Media.
Need your political fix, or just curious about the latest news from the Senate? The Real Time Congress app provides real-time updates from both the House and Senate floors. The app also covers Floor Updates, Whip Notices, Hearings, and provides select government documents for you to read over at your leisure.
With your LexisNexis account, CourtLink provides information on newly filed cases, developments in existing cases, and recent court docket activity. By setting up Alerts and Tracks through CourtLink, you can get the latest news from any device.
Other apps to keep you connected and up to date:
Finding legal resources has never been easier or more mobile. There are many free legal research apps for iOS (iPad, iPhone) and Android devices, and many more available for a small price. Three of the best reference apps for on-the-go lawyers and law students are Fastcase, WestlawNext, and HeinOnline.
While the desktop version of Fastcase starts subscription pricing around $65/month or $695/year, the mobile apps have much of the same functionality and they are free. All you need to do is register a username and password, and you’ll be able to browse U.S. cases and statutes by citation, phrase, or keyword anywhere you get service.
The WestlawNext app, like Fastcase, delivers powerful research capabilities from any device. The app itself is free to download, however you must have an active Westlaw account to access content. For current law students, this is a fantastic option for mobile research, but be warned: once you have a personal account or an account through your employer, each search on the mobile app will be charged at your firm rates. Still, for law students and those who have access to Westlaw, this is a great app for in-depth reference.
HeinOnline’s mobile app is free for mobile devices and offers the same great performance as the desktop version. Access the database’s content through PDFs, full searching capabilities, and through online law reviews and journals. Need to find something in the fourth volume of the English Statutes of the Realm? Or maybe just a back issue of the American Bar Association Journal? HeinOnline can help you find both!
Other helpful reference apps:
Coming soon to the library are two e-readers! We’ll soon debut our Nook and Kindle Fire as part of our new digital reading collection, and we hope you will find the resources on these devices helpful and informative as you browse them in the library. Over the next few months, we’ll be profiling some of the different types of apps that are aimed at legal professionals and students. Many will be available on our tablets, but we hope that you will find some of these apps useful enough to use on your own devices, too.
Keep an eye on the Law Library blog to hear about our top app picks, but in the meantime, here are some other excellent resources for techno-savvy lawyers:
- Mobile Apps for Students LibGuide (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law)
- 25 Game-Changing iPad Apps for Law Students & Lawyers
- Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers (UCLA School of Law)
- Mobile Apps for Law Students (University of Akron School of Law)