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The entries below cover legal apps designed for individuals, relating to ways in which individuals
can work with lawyers on specific applications.
legal apps designed for lawyers, mainly relating to the access of legal materials -
judgments, case reports and so on.
Click here for an introduction to legal apps by Alex Heshmaty.
Some of the legal apps for individuals, so far
The A&O Connect from Allen & Overy comprises a quick reference directory of the firm's lawyers, locations and expertise. Commenting, senior Partner David Morley said "This new app is just one example of A&O's ongoing efforts to connect with clients on their terms. With the digital age has come a multitude of ways of connecting with people - we need to make that process as easy as possible for clients."
The Accident App from
Croftons Solicitors "can be used in road traffic accidents, workplace
injuries or any incident where a claim may be made", allowing the user to initiate a personal injury claim.
It is rather innovative - and provides a nod to Web 3.0 - in harnessing the various functions of a mobile phone to
store evidence: the phone camera can be used to take pictures of an accident, the microphone can record witness
statements, and the phone's geo-location at the time of the accident can also be saved.
The information gathered can later be used to pursue a claim.
This contact app from Field Seymour Parkes LLP essentially provides a mobile version of the firm's website. It's one example of a native app which has been designed to complement a solicitor's website. Some firms decide to create a mobile-optimised website instead of an app, but this firm has opted for both.
The Cross-Border Listings App from
Baker & McKenzie LLP is a free app designed
to help investment bankers, CFOs, in-house counsel and other members of management as they consider global IPO listing options.
It allows users to view summaries of listing requirements for over 25 stock exchanges and compare key requirements.
Legal Training provides details of every court in England and Wales,
including addresses and postcodes, opening hours and relevant contacts. It even shows daily lists for the High Court
and above. It's now available on iPhone and iPad as well as Android.
The Divorce app built by the
HG Apps Store and written by Peter Martin, family lawyer at
OGR Stock Denton, provides legal advice and guidance for people in England and
Wales who are contemplating divorce. It gives a guide to the law and the divorce process and provides links to various
sources of information.
A Divorce app Divorce UK from
Mills & Reeve LLP "offers free guidance and tools to help you understand the
legal, practical and emotional issues you may face when considering divorce or separation." Amongst other things,
it includes a contextual glossary of relevant legal terms, a court finder and an FAQ section.
The Employment Law Cloud App from
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey has been designed to keep managers and HR professionals abreast
of employment law developments in the UK. Amongst the various features it provides are calculators for statutory redundancy
pay entitlements, key maternity leave dates and severance pay amounts, and the ability to email these calculations.
Commenting, Global Co-Head of Squire Sanders Hammonds Labour & Employment team Caroline Noblet said
"We recognise that our clients are becoming increasingly time-pressured and often require information at their fingertips.
The Employment Law Cloud allows us to share our knowledge and assist the UK employment community wherever and
whenever it needs us."
Scottish firm MacRoberts LLP has released the
HR Adviser App which contains a redundancy calculator
in addition to information about employment law. The app is automatically updated which ensures that the current minimum
wage rates are shown. It also provides HR professionals with an estimate of the likely award at an employment tribunal
should an employee raise an unfair dismissal claim. David Flint, Head of the IP, Technology and Communications
Group at MacRoberts has noted that "Each section of the app will contain a brief section on the law and we will
have the capability to update and add to it as well as issue alerts to users when there are changes which could
potentially affect them."
HR Alert from
Dickinson Dees LLP aims to inform human resources professionals about the
latest developments in employment law affecting their companies. Amongst other things, the app calculates maternity,
paternity and adoption leave dates, and includes a news section with cases of interest and changes in the law.
The Move Easier App focusing on residential conveyancing
from Mayo Wynne Baxter LLP provides guides to the house buying process,
as well as various tools including a mortgage calculator, moving checklist and moving guides. It also recommended IFAs,
and even allows customers to write their will by completing a template which is then emailed directly to the firm to check
The Norton Rose Group app from
Norton Rose is essentially a contact directory for the firm, albeit a rather
useful one. It allows clients to make calls to the most relevant of its 2,600 lawyers from within the app, shows office
locations with GPS-enabled city plans and gives updates on the latest legal and regulatory issues. It even provides videos
on various topics of interest to clients.
Share Bright Ltd provides a quick reference guide to the most common
offences sentenced at the Magistrates' Court, for use by individuals appearing in court or their legal representatives.
Residential Conveyancing app, from
Owen Kenny Solicitors is designed to "provide a better service and remove some
of the stress from the moving process". It provides guides to the process, a mortgage calculator, moving checklist
and a useful services section which includes recommended IFAs. Furthermore, it enables customers to write their will
using a template which is then emailed directly to the firm to check and complete.
The Source from
Stephenson Harwood LLP is designed for outsourcing lawyers in the UK, as well
as individuals who have an active interest in the legal issues surrounding outsourcing. It serves as a reference
guide to the various legal matters which need to be taken into consideration when negotiating outsourcing agreements,
and has links to legislation as well as providing a topical news feed.
Work Rights App comes from barristers
36 Bedford Row. The app
"aims is to empower employees for free with tailored
information". It works by asking questions and using your answers to provide information which is most relevant to you.
Additionally, it includes definitions of key words and phrases.
Software, tools and services available for developing legal apps
Corona, from Ansca, provides a development platform which allows the development of apps for both Android and iPhone mobile devices. It automatically scales any content created, to allow for its delivery across multiple devices with differenct screen sizes, including iPads and other tablets. Corona is particularly good for developing visually appealing apps, as it harnesses the graphics power of OpenGL.
Here are a few USA legal apps for individuals, for general interest
Frank Sheeder, chair of DLA Piper's Health Care Enforcement and Compliance practice, has released Compliance Law, an app dealing with Healthcare Compliance and Litigation. It aims to help users stay up to date with US government initiatives, False Claims Act cases, whistleblowing regulations and health care reform.
This Law Guide and Dictionary App from TheLaw.com is a legal reference tool which includes an 8,600 word legal dictionary. It also contains a legal guide with over 200 articles in addition to a lawyer's directory.
The Sourcing Deal Tool Kit from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, available for free on the iPhone, is aimed at deal makers who wish to calculate performance metrics and costs in IT and business process outsourcing contracts during contract negotiations and routine service management. The primary features of the app consist of "tools for measuring whether downtime levels in a contract could substantially harm a business, comparing providers' performance against promised service levels and monitoring cost of living changes in different countries where service providers have operations."
Oxford Dictionaries Online defines an app as "a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose;
an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device". It is the latter half of the definition - especially in
relation to iPhones and other smartphones - which popularised the term, and it is this meaning with which this article is concerned.
The late Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011) was largely responsible for the emergence and swift growth of apps, following the phenomenal
success of Apple's iPhone, which was released to the market in 2007. By March 2011 Apple had sold over 100 million iPhones worldwide,
such was their appeal. Although iPhones are largely generic in their design and customisation options are limited, the ability
to download apps allows its users to extend the functionality of their handsets. Hundreds of thousands of apps - which can be
developed and distributed by anyone with a basic understanding of computer programming - are available for download from
Apple's App Store, and range from retro games to geo-positioning
programs showing locally reviewed takeaways, to those with more business-centric purposes. The multitude of apps available led to
Apple's catchphrase - There's an app for that.
Many apps are free and generate money through advertising, but others need to be purchased.
In the face of Apple's initial dominance of the app market, Google developed the rival Android operating system, which spawned a vast
array of smartphones taking advantage of Google's version of the App Store (the Android Market).
Android-enabled phones are generally far more customisable than iPhones and its apps are easier to distribute, with fewer restrictions.
Android phones also tend to be less expensive than their iPhone counterparts, with lots of manufacturers including HTC, Samsung and
LG vying for market share. This variety and affordability has resulted in the solid growth of Android phone ownership, opening the
floodgates for Android app development and providing some serious competition for Apple.
Forward thinking law firms have always sought to harness web technologies to promote their services and keep in touch with their
existing client base. Web 1.0 technologies such as the humble website and email newsletters led to increasingly interactive Web 2.0
concepts such as blogging, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. The beginnings of Web 3.0 can be seen in certain apps, such
as those making use of a mobile phone's geo-location data or its abilities to make sense of its surroundings. Current examples of
this extension of web technology include proximity sensitive directory services which list the closest restaurants, pubs - or law firms -
and QR codes which can, for instance, allow a potential house buyer to scan an estate agent's sign with a phone camera and
immediately view information on the particular home for sale. Augmented reality, artificial intelligence, personalisation and the
Semantic Web are the next steps for Web 3.0.