I occasionally receive offers to do “guest” blog posts from commercial sites using them as a way to increase their presence on the web. Up until now I have not used them, but today’s post is one such from Criminal Justice Degree Schools. Criminal Justice Degree Schools is a career site that includes a directory of paralegal schools by state and paralegal interviews with leaders in the paralegal field. While I’m using the post I know very little about the site other than that I also once was interviewed by them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fw1olpC5cg ( I apologize for the quality of the video – I was fairly new to such things at the time.) In addition to the fact that I’ve been slow to post on my own due to some medical restrictions, I posting this one because it does appear useful and it’s on a topic I cannot cover myself since I do not have a smartphone and have never used an app! (I know it makes me sound like a dinosaur. Finally ordered one last night so in a few days I too will be trying out some of these apps.)
5 Useful Apps for Paralegals
A paralegal is a busy individual for whom timing and precision are essential elements of success.
Success depends on being able to deliver accurate work products on time according to a very specific schedule and to always be in the right place at the right time. To make sure this happens, paralegals rely on different tools and techniques to keep the gears turning smoothly.
Now that mobile devices – and their accompanying apps – are becoming more prominent in the workplace, more professionals are taking advantage of the technology to make work easier.
Below we take a look at five apps paralegals can use to make work a little less stressful.
1. Burton’s Legal Thesaurus
Paralegals are many things, but above all else they are writers. Whether it’s a legal brief, memorandum or motion, or day-to-day correspondence between legal professionals, getting the right word the first time can save more than money – it can vouchsafe a client’s rights.
At $39.99, Burton’s Legal Thesaurus is not cheap, but it is comprehensive. It contains 8,000 synonyms, terms and definitions, and can increase the efficiency and accuracy of any paralegal.
2. Black’s Law Dictionary
This is the quintessential reference for both attorneys and paralegals, and has been in use since 1891. It is highly likely there will be one on hand in a paralegal’s office, either in text or digital form, but paralegals may find the app functionality to be more efficient than using these other resources.
Again, quality comes at a price with the app’s $54.99 mark-up, but there’s no question regarding its utility. For those thinking Burton’s may be a better value, keep in mind it is only a thesaurus, whereas Black’s contains more in-depth definitions and information.
3. Court Days
As previously mentioned, timing is everything in the legal world, and a missed court date is more than just a missed opportunity – it can lead to major problems.
The Court Days app will never amount to the final chapter in a paralegal’s scheduling strategy, but at $0.99 it is an inexpensive and convenient way to quickly calculate the date between the current day and a scheduled hearing, the time between two court appointments, and so on.
The U.S. Supreme Court is the “highest court in the land,” and as such it’s important for legal professionals to stay up-to-date on rulings as well as know how and why the Justices came to their conclusions.
PocketJustice is a free app that details Supreme Court rulings, provides visual representations of votes and details the “Top 100” constitutional law cases – all of which can provide a paralegal with a stronger background for understanding current trends in legal cases.
5. Time Master + Billing
For better or worse, many paralegals are tasked with keeping up with an attorney’s billing in addition to the myriad legal functions that come with the job. Due to the meticulous nature of legal billing, this can add up to a lot of extra work.
For $9.99 paralegals can get a very powerful scheduling device and billing calculator all rolled into one. Time Master + Billing has an incredible array of features, most notably coordinated time tracking and billing functions, a time-rounding function and exportable timesheets and schedules for email or printing.
This article was written by James Madeiros, a recent law school grad and staff writer for Criminal Justice Degree Schools. Criminal Justice Degree Schools is a career site that includes a directory of paralegal schools by state and paralegal interviews with leaders in the paralegal field.
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