There's an App for That 1I don’t have an iPhone, but if I did, I’m not sure if  I’d be too crazy about all the applications available for them (applications are “apps,” for short). I do have a Blackberry, but the only apps I use right now are the Google search app, the app, and the Pandora radio app. I need quick access to search, and I like to read Slate and listen to internet radio while I’m on the train to and from work. But everyone raves about the apps for the iPhone, and I’ve been told that if I just give these apps a chance, I’ll love them too. And with the news of iPhone apps hitting the 2 billion mark, I figured I better finally jump on the app bandwagon.

I’m pretty tech-savvy, so I decided to do a little research to see if there were apps that suited me specifically. I already know that the Pandora internet radio app suits my personal need to constantly have music. But what about my professional life? Law firms give attorneys Blackberrys and iPhones, for a reason, right?

There’s obviously the desire for constant contact. If a partner emails you, and you have the ability to get that email on your phone, and they know you have the phone with you, you simply have to respond. So if something major happens with a case you’re working on, you can be on it right away. But the email is a feature built into the phone, not an app. So I continued my research.

Then I came across an article, which is in the October issue of the ABA Journal, called “70 Sizzling Apps.” The list has reviews of “sizzling” apps, categorized by Word Up (apps for Microsoft Office on the go); Research and Reference; Productivity; Accessibility; Task Management; and Maps, Fun, and Games.

It seems as though you can even carry around the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Constitution, and other resource documents in your pocket, if you download them via apps to your iPhone. And you can even get cites in Bluebook citation form with one click. I wish I’d had that one in law school. It’s definitely worth seeing if any of the ABA’s 70 “sizzling” apps are for you.

After reading the article though, I was left wondering if the time it takes to do some of these things is actually worth it. Is it really so easy to type a Word document without a full size keyboard? I think my time would be better spent reading while on the go, and saving the typing for the office or at home. Having said that, I do plan to try out some of the apps for my Blackberry–and to talk to others about their iPhone app use. On my list to try: Twitterberry (for Twitter access), Remember the Milk (for to-do lists), and Evernote (for clipping articles and taking voice notes).

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Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Since 1972 he has been helping seriously injured victims throughout northern California fight & win their personal injury cases. Andy is one of the top awarded & recognized wrongful death lawyers in northern California.