These best apps for family lawyers will help you mark up documents, calculate child support, create presentations and more to streamline your practice.
By Mark Unger
The list of useful apps for family lawyers is constantly expanding. Incorporating apps into your practice not only increases efficiency, it can help you work remotely, communicate with partners and clients, run a paperless office and keep track of documents, clients and finances. We asked three lawyers to recommend their favourite apps.
Best Apps for Family Lawyers
This app and desktop counterpart is a sophisticated and user-friendly way to identify monthly expenses when preparing for a divorce case. It allows you to communicate with multiple banks and get information from various accounts, then categorize expenses and evaluate your needs.
Read, highlight, annotate, and bookmark a PDF form of any legal document that is otherwise unalterable, such as a proposed pleading, letter or decree. It’s visually appealing because it allows reading in a page-flipping format (as opposed to scrolling), making it feel more like a binder of documents.
BeeDocs Timeline 3D
With both an iPad and desktop component, this app allows you to create a timeline to tell a client’s story in a graphic, interactive and 3D way, then print it out as a PDF paper copy (exhibit) for court. You can also create an iCal category solely for your case and import it directly into this program.
DropBox (Free and Paid versions)
A cloud-based program that works on all platforms where attorneys and clients can seamlessly view, edit and transfer documents between themselves. Nobody else will be able to view these documents without your permission.
Nancy Chausow Shafer
Nancy Chausow Shafer is a lawyer in Highland Park, Illinois and the President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Illinois Chapter. http://www.chausowshafer.com
Family Law Software’s Child Support Calculator
Working as a companion to the full program or used a standalone, this app provides a quick support calculation with a few taps on the screen. You can then email the report to yourself and use it as the foundation for more complete calculations in the full program. It’s available for Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Perfect for settlement conferences or mediations, this is a visual method of dividing the marital estate. Enter various assets and liabilities – which become icons on the main screen – and move them back and forth between the parties’ sides of the screen. With each move, the totals automatically adjust. You can then email your finished scenario with an accompanying spreadsheet and proprietary iSplit Divorce file.
The use for this app is unlimited. Take a picture of any document and turn it into a PDF. It’s great for copying pleadings or orders from a court file, or for obtaining a document you desperately need but opposing counsel has only one copy of. Also useful for discovery inspection and copying while reviewing a stack of documents in which only a few pages contain useful information.
Nicole Black is an attorney in Rochester, New York and the Director of MyCase, a cloud-based law practice management platform. http://nicoleblackesq.com
Conduct legal research on the fly from a comprehensive national law library, with searching, sorting and visualization tools at your fingertips. Works well even if you don’t have a Fastcase subscription. It also doubles as a PDF storage and annotation app.
This app has a very clean and intuitive interface and reads most document types. You can easily import documents from many sources, including email attachments, your hard drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Docs. Once imported, you can create folders, name your files, mark them up and store them.
Note: If any of these apps interest you, head on over to our Resources Page to find out their cost and where to download them.
Mark Unger is a lawyer and mediator in San Antonio, Texas who focuses his practice on Family Law and Technology. http://unger-law.blogspot.ca
The use of new technology is accelerating as lawyers and other family law professionals face more and more new challenges in their practices. Here are some mobile apps and software to consider – from B to Z!