From intake to resolution, these 10 apps help attorneys streamline their firm’s business processes, save time, and spend less money in the process.
Let’s face it — if you’re not leveraging the power of modern technology to boost the performance and efficiency of your law firm, you’re probably wasting time and money (not to mention paper).
An increasing number of attorneys are going paperless these days, and even those that aren’t paperless yet may recognize that tech can help them be better lawyers and practice managers in many respects.
We’ve compiled this list of 10 apps that you can use to improve your law firm’s processes to make them more streamlined, efficient, effective, and tech-forward. Most of the apps and services in this list offer free options and/or have premium plans that won’t cut deep into your law firm’s budget.
10 Useful Apps for Lawyers
Here are 10 apps we’ve found that can help lawyers find more success with the least effort or expense.
Dropbox for Lawyers
Dropbox allows attorneys to easily save files into a single cloud-based storage folder on their desktop or mobile device and automatically sync them to other devices for easy and fast access, anywhere and anytime they need them.
The free version comes with 2 GB of storage, syncing capabilities, and the collaborative document creation platform, Paper. Upgraded plans with additional features are also available for a charge of between $8.25 and $20 per user, per month. More at www.dropbox.com.
CamScanner for attorneys
This app allows attorneys to scan paper documents and convert them to high-quality PDFs. This can be helpful when completing client intake, interviewing potential witnesses who unexpectedly present important documents, or just for keeping backups of all of your most important case files all in one place.
Attorneys can store their digital documents in individual or collaborative group folders, share them across multiple other apps including Google products and Evernote, and even fax them straight from their phones or tablets.
Free accounts come with the ability to scan, share, and sync documents, along with some document editing options such as adding signatures and watermarks. For higher-quality scans and enhanced collaborative and editing capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan, which costs between $4.99 and $9.99 per month. More at www.camscanner.com.
Evernote for Attorneys
Evernote founder Stepan Pachikov says his app will “eventually will be a full backup of your memory.”
Right now, it functions as a handy and affordable bit of note-taking software.
Attorneys can take notes directly within documents in Evernote on any device by typing or writing with a stylus. Evernote can even scan your handwriting and make the content searchable. Evernote can sync those notes between devices, invite others to share and collaborate, and make memos and other documents from scratch within the platform.
Attorneys can even organize a trial notebook in Evernote, and their notes will be accessible and searchable anytime, anywhere — much faster than flipping through papers. Mac users might benefit from the addition of the Skitch and Penultimate apps which are made by the same developer and allow expanded abilities to quickly communicate using visuals rather than text, and to take notes and communicate using digital handwriting rather than typing, respectively. Evernote’s basic note-taking app is free, but upgrades are affordable at $7.99 and $14.99 per user per month. More at www.evernote.com.
Spark for Lawyers
Maker of the popular PDF Expert app, Readdle’s Spark is an intelligent approach to the overcrowded email inbox.
Spark’s AI system categorizes and prioritizes messages in a ”Smart Inbox” so that lawyers can easily tend to their most important business first. It also allows attorneys to limit email notifications to urgent messages and to collaborate with other staff members in order to limit back and forth on email threads and streamline communication about specific tasks, projects, and messages.
The basic smart inbox app is free and upgrades start at $6.39 per user, per month. More info at sparkmailapp.com.
SignMyPad for Attorneys
The average American uses 750 pounds of paper per year, and it’s possible that attorneys in the U.S. are helping to skew those numbers toward the heavy side.
Now available on both iOS and Android, SignMyPad allows attorneys to upload PDFs from their email or devices, add text, check marks, and digital signatures, and then send those documents out or store them in Dropbox. You can even geotag the location where a document was signed for an added layer of security. Attorneys can use this app for client intake processes, document management, and execution of any other type of agreement attorneys might need in a pinch. The basic version is available to download for $3.99, and the complete “Pro” version runs $19.99 for unlimited use. More at www.autriv.com/sign-my-pad.
FastCase Legal Library App
FastCase is one of the most popular legal apps on the market according to the American Bar Association. FastCase places an extensive legal library at your fingertips on any tablet or mobile device.
Available for iOS and Android, the FastCase app makes it easy for attorneys to search and locate relevant information on federal and state laws, specialty courts, and more. Membership starts at $65 per month, but you can try it free for 24 hours. Also, many state bars and other professional organizations provide “free” access to FastCase as part of their membership offerings. More at www.fastcase.com.
LastPass for Lawyers
With LastPass, attorneys can keep account information secure across all of the services utilized by their law firm(s). It saves all of your passwords in one convenient, secure location and can even generate and remember unique passwords for each account so that you don’t have to.
Most lawyers are likely to find the free account sufficient, though premium options are available starting at $2 per user per month. More at www.lastpass.com.
LogMeIn for Lawyers
Ever make it to a meeting, court date, or deposition, and then realize that you forgot to move an important document from the desktop at your home office to a folder or app that is synced to your other devices?
Attorneys can eliminate this problem by logging into one or more computers remotely with LogMeIn. Plans start at $349 a year for personal use across two computers and go all the way up to $6999.99 for up to 50 computers. Subscriptions also include LastPass Premium account access as part of the package. More at LogMeIn.com.
Clio Practice Management Software
Clio is a complete practice management system that enables attorneys to efficiently manage time tracking, billing, accepting payments, and more. It can also help lawyers keep track of deadlines by calculating court calendaring rules and provides a secure online portal where your clients can manage their accounts with your firm. Plans run between $39 and $99 per user per month. Clio also natively integrates with LawLytics. More info at www.clio.com.
Lexicata Law Firm CRM
Lexicata is a client relationship management (CRM) tool built specifically for attorneys. It allows you to manage all of your client contact information, schedule consultations, create and collect online intake forms, automate document processes, and collect e-signatures all on a single platform. Lexicata provides data and reporting tools so that you can keep an eye on how your law firm is performing relative to its business goals. Lexicata also natively integrates with LawLytics. Plans start at $49 per month.