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Five handy apps for New Zealand lawyers BY ANGHARAD O’FLYNN Smartphones have advanced to the point now where they are essentially small computers with the added bonus of being a phone. Many lawyers use smartphones and, as the technology evolution continues to advance at a rapid pace, many additions have been developed to help make the most of the hardware. There are many applications to choose from and the following are just some of those apps and websites that can be useful to legal professionals.
Grammarly Grammarly was put together by some of the world’s leading linguists and is a helpful spellcheck and grammatical tool for quick checks or when the built-in office spellcheck might not cut it with all that legal jargon. It has two account options: free and paid. The free version checks
only spelling however, it still has quite an advanced dictionary that can include jargon used in some professions. The paid version will check spelling and syntax, which can be helpful when you want to type up something in a short, simpler way for a client to read. Grammarly is cross-platform friendly (this is a good thing) and can be used with Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud. It is also available in the Google chrome web store as an add-on, making it usable in certain email browsers and other sites.
Back of a Napkin Back of a Napkin is a handy website tool created by national law firm Buddle Findlay. According to the website, its intention is “to help people collaborating on new projects,” and, while the website isn’t a replacement for professional advice, is useful for clients who may want a basic agreement among themselves when establishing their company. It could also be used by lawyers as an example of a standard contractual business agreement.
TrialPod TrialPod is litigation software for document reviewing and annotation, deposition transcript summaries and evidence presentation and is being used overseas in courtrooms as an alternative case presentation option.
It is cross-platform friendly with certain applications such as Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Transporter, and WebDAV.
InfoTrack InfoTrack was built so that legal professionals and conveyancers can search for everything they need in one place (perhaps best compared to a refined Google specifically designed for lawyers). InfoTrack has a pay-for-yoursearch structure so there are no initial purchase costs. It offers title searching and instruments, C o m p a ny a n d D i r e c t o r s h i p Searching tools, Corporate Credit Reports and additional products on top of the basic search package providing access to LINZ, the Companies Office, PPSR and credit reports all in one place.
Easy Law Easy Law is an app designed by Invercargill lawyer Emma Stanley for home buyers. It brings together the strands of information which home-buyers need, and is divided into three sections to cover people who don’t know where to start, those who have found a home but need assistance, and those who have made an offer. It includes useful definitions and checklists for would-be buyers. ▪ 57