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  • A Bi-Monthly Electronic Publication for Section Members
  • August 2010

Technology and Law Practice Management

BlackBerry Applications for Lawyers

Lawyers are increasingly—and almost ubiquitously—using smartphones to stay connected on the go. The 2010 Legal Technology Survey Report indicates that 84% of respondents have the availability of smartphones at their firms, up from 77% in the 2009 survey. Although Apple’s iPhone is gaining ground in the legal profession, the brands most often cited by survey respondents were the BlackBerry/RIM (66%), the iPhone (20%) and the Palm (9%).

In light of survey responses, we researched mobile apps for the Blackberry with lawyers in mind.  Browsing the BlackBerry App World catalog revealed the following collection of free and paid apps:

  • BigHand (FREE) - An advanced recording application that lets you to save your recordings locally for playback at anytime. The premium edition allows you to send voice files or tasks to the office or to access outsourced business services for transcription.  Law firm Becker & Poliakoff's applications administrator discusses their dictation decision-making process in the article Firm Gives Digital Dictation a BigHand .
  • DateMathica ($4.99) - Figures out how many days you have left until a deadline so you don't miss it. In Best BlackBerry Apps for Lawyers , young Texas lawyer Robert Abtah reported that this app is easy to use and accurate.
  • Dragon for E-Mail (FREE, for a limited time) - An email dictation application powered by Dragon NaturallySpeaking that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your emails by dictating directly within the BlackBerry email client.
  • Evernote (FREE) - Helps you remember and recall important information through the use of notes and snapshots or recordings, and instantly synchronizes from your BlackBerry to the Web and to your Mac or Windows desktop.  Walt S. Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal tests out Evernote on a variety of devices.
  • Time & Expense Pro ($14.99) – This app allows you to track your time, expenses and vehicle mileage.  You can then compare these entries against previous projects by exporting your data on spreadsheets to your office computer. Computerworld reviews Time & Expense Pro as an essential BlackBerry app.
  • The Law Pod - Complete Federal Rules  ($4.99) - The Complete Federal Rules of Procedure (Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, Criminal and Evidence).  Each set of rules is also available as an individual app for $2.99 each.
  • Legal Week (FREE) – An online legal magazine dedicated to commercial lawyers in the UK and major international jurisdictions, offering daily news, information, reports, features and analysis. Legal Week incorporates legal news, comment, events, forums, blogs, wikis and legal jobs.
  • SugarSync (FREE) – Combines secure online backup, file synchronization, remote access, and file sharing. SugarSync provides access to your data anytime, anywhere from any device, including desktops, laptops and mobile devices.  BerryReview.com discusses the features of the latest version of SugarSync.
  • Documents to Go (FREE) - Allows you to view, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your BlackBerry device.  SmartphoneFanatics.com reviews Documents to Go for the BlackBerry.

BlackBerry devices have their fans and followers as evidenced by the independent CrackBerry.com and BerryReview.com websites.  Additionally, Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry has launched “ Inside BlackBerry” the official BlackBerry Blog, Facebook page, and an actice presence on Twitter.

Additional Resources