Modern day technology can be used in ways to help you through various stages of your legal career. Here are 10 must have apps for any aspiring lawyer
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Do you find yourself getting distracted by your phone when trying to work? Try out Forest, the ultimate app to stop you from using your phone during revision. I love Forest because it encourages you not to use your phone. The premise of the app is that you set a timer for how long you want to avoid using your phone. If you don’t use your phone, you will grow a tree in your digital forest. If you use it during the time, the tree dies and you start again. Give it a try.
Anki is essentially a flashcard app. What makes Anki so special is its functionality. It has been proven that humans learn better by actively recalling information as opposed to passively reading. It has also been shown that this information becomes easier to recall the more it is learnt. Anki combines active recall with spaced repetition by allowing you to rank how you found remembering the information on each card. If you found it easy, Anki will bring up that card again in a few days, if you struggled it will come up again in 10 minutes.
Dropbox is my app of choice for cloud storage, but if you already use Google Drive, OneDrive or anything else then stick to that. I encourage every law student to use cloud storage to store lecture notes, slides and coursework. Imagine a nightmare scenario where your computer crashes the night before an important deadline. You’ll be thankful you stored it on the cloud.
If you receive a ton of paper resources such as handouts, it can be easy to lose them. Using Scanner Pro, you can scan the document and save it as a JPEG, PDF or any other sort of format in order to keep them handy on your computer or phone.
On the Case is a great little app from LexisNexis that allows you to search for cases using either their name, date or citation. It is very streamlined and easy to use. As a side note, I would encourage you to make use of LexisNexis Certification where you can learn how to use their suite of services, which ultimately leads to certification in Lexis Library. As law firms look for applicants with legal research skills, certification of this sort can be very useful.
I normally advise people to research and write coursework or essays on a computer as it is generally a better experience when typing and researching. RefME is a powerful tool that can be used on your phone to store footnotes and references. My favouritefeature though is being able to scan the barcodes of physical books and journals, which you cannot do using a computer.
I’m sure a lot of students overlook this preinstalled app. I’m not quite sure why though. You can use it to capture voice notes of your own, for example when researching for a piece of coursework. However, the real benefit of using this app is that you can record entire lectures and seminars, allowing you to actually concentrate and ensure you never miss a detail. Just be sure to ask your lecturer’s permission to record their lecture before you use this app.
It has been proven that music, especially classical music, can help stimulate the mind and allow you to concentrate better during study sessions. As such, take advantage of Spotify’s huge library of music and their impressive categories of playlists in areas such as ‘focus’ and ‘bedtime’. Spotify actually offer an impressive student discount on their Premium subscription, which will remove advertisements and allow you to listen outside of shuffle play.
I like GoodNotes 4 for a few reasons. Firstly, it is incredibly simple to use. Secondly, it works well with my iPad and Apple Pencil. And thirdly, I can use it to import pictures or files and mark them up. I use this third feature all the time when I have cases to read or want to add writing to PowerPoint slides. It can be surprisingly powerful for mind mapping too.
Class Timetable is great for timetabling. It is simple, colourful and just more user friendly compared to stock Calendar or Reminder apps. The only real pain can be adding lectures, seminars and workshops in. However, once you’ve done it, the app just works. That’s the beauty of it.
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