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New Technology Series: The Smart Phone for Paralegals

Smartphones, including the BlackBerry and iPhone, have become widely used tools for lawyers and paralegals who require a mobile platform for instant communication and an on-the-go access to information; today, in some instances, smartphones can even stand in for a laptop given the multitude of applications that are now available available. Indeed, a smartphone can be a lifesaving tool if you are in a situation where you do not have access to a laptop, iPad or gasp! - a hornbook.

Some of the Smart Phone applications that may be useful to a paralegal are:

• QuickOffice Connect. Create, edit, and share Microsoft Office documents.

• Black’s Law Dictionary: Probably one of the best apps for the iPhone, the Black’s Law dictionary is a digital version of the hardbound book, the one that looks good on the shelves of your law library. With over 43,000 legal terms and their definitions, putting this app on your iPhone is the easiest way to reference information on the go and when in your office. It allows you to search for terms and displays results as you type, making it much more easy to use than the ink and paper version.

• Air Sharing: With this iPhone app, you can transfer all your documents from your computer to your iPhone, and the best part is that you don’t have to connect both gadgets physically to effect the transfer. The inbuilt software allows you to do it through the “air”, and that’s why the name for this application.

• Thomson Reuters NewsPro: This application is available for both the iPhone and the Blackberry; it provides access to business news, information on corporations, breaking news and financial market data from Thomson Reuters.

• Superpages Mobile: This application for the Blackberry Storm allows you to get directions on the go, find movies and restaurants near you, get access to weather forecasts, search for WiFi hotspots that you can use to connect your laptop, and look up people and business on directory listings.

• Google Mobile App: Available for both the iPhone and the Blackberry, this application brings almost all of Google’s offerings to your phone. You can access your documents and spreadsheets, use your domain to connect to others on it, run searches, browse your search history, and if you’re using this on your Blackberry, you can also tap the power of Latitude to see where your friends are in real time. This application allows you to share your location with friends and also see where they are so you can coordinate meetings and visits.

Please note that the next post in this New Technology Series will be published next week!

Ms. Sherry Kubanyi received her B.A. in Political Science and has worked as a paralegal for plaintiffs and defense firms throughout the State of Georgia for over 15 years.