Law school isn’t easy. From the beginning of 1L year, you’re expected to absorb mountains of information every day — and yeah — that means late night study sessions and virtuosic organizational skills. While law school is certainly an exercise in discipline, mobile productivity apps can help ease your pain! To help you sort the trash from the treasure, here are 5 must useapps for law students.
Always know your jargon
There are few worse mistakes a law student can make than misusing a term. Save yourself from unnecessary embarrassment with the Black’s Law Dictionary mobile app. Black’s is widely recognized as the profession’s most trusted dictionary, and the app is a compact and speedy resource for students to become familiar with legal jargon. It allows users to define terms via the search bar or by pressing highlighted terms directly on the page. Moreover, unlike the 9th edition, the newest version of Black’s Law Dictionary keeps a detailed search history and allows users to cross reference Westlaw content through hyperlinks.
$54.99 is a high price to pay for a mobile app. There are low-cost alternatives available for download among legal apps – although these don’t come with the Black’s seal of approval.
Legal entertainment for the overachiever
TalksOnLaw is a cool N.Y.-based legal media and education company that seeks to educate lawyers through enjoyable interviews with top thinkers (think podcasts or TED Talks but for law). The TOL (short for TalksOnLaw) mobile app offers a sleek platform, bringing killer interviews that any legal geek will admire. The 30-minute interviews cover a wide range of fascinating topics, from constitutional questions about surveillance technology to the intellectual property implications of dance and hip-hop music. The app is easy to navigate and 100% free for law students (or anyone not looking to get CLE credits).
When it comes to legal note-taking, Microsoft Onenote is perfect for the uber-organized student. Unlike Word, Onenote is laid out as an electronic tab-ringed binder where users can access all of their notes, cases summaries, and briefs simply by shifting between tabs and pages. OneNote also has an audio recording feature, where you can record lectures. (As a heads up, be sure to get permission rather than risk the potential ire of the old school prof!) While most will take notes on the laptop, their mobile app is perfect for quick references or for studying on the go.
Paper to PDF in a flash
CamScanner is a handy mobile app that turns your phone into a mobile scanner. It instantly converts snapshots of documents into hi-res PDFs that can be emailed to yourself or to others. There are a bunch of scanner apps, but CamScanner is particularly user-friendly, and yields high-resolution images that are more polished than its competitors. This app is particularly useful for those students who prefer to hand-write their notes, but the CamScanner also helps students clear out clutter by scanning receipts, sketches, or pages in of a textbook. The app is so sleek with conversion that students can feel comfortable scanning and sending more official documents, like transcripts, to future employers or school administrators. Warning, the free version puts an annoying watermark on your scanned docs while the paid version doesn’t.
Wunderlist is a to-do list app on steroids. The app is great for anyone looking to save time and shed some extra paper. The collaboration features are perfect for managing law school study groups, team assignments, or club events as it allows users delegate tasks, monitor progress, and set reminders to avoid missing deadlines. Wunderlist also lets you attach pics, PDFs, and documents onto “to-dos,” making it an easy way to organize both your personal and academic life.