Five Legal Research Apps for Android

According to the ABA’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey Report, 17% of responding lawyers in private practice regularly use mobile research apps on their smartphones.  It isn’t hard to understand the appeal: research is an essential aspect of practice for virtually all lawyers, and mobile research apps allow users to conduct their research anywhere at any time.

For Android users, what mobile research apps are available?  Here are five popular apps to consider:

Fastcase
Fastcase is a familiar name in legal research, and their Android app brings much of their functionality for free to your smartphone: searchable American caselaw and statutes, customizable and sortable search results, integrated search history, regular case law updates, and case analysis tools.  If you have a full Fastcase subscription, the app will sync your mobile searches with your desktop searches.
Cost: Free
Also available: iPhone/iPad

WestlawNext
For users of WestlawNext, the mobile app essentially allows you to take your research tool with you anywhere you have a data connection. Your searches will sync with your regular browser-based interface, allowing you to quickly access previous research.  Organize research into folders, take notes, or run a KeyCite.
Cost: Free, with WestlawNext subscription
Also available: iPad

dLaw (formerly DroidLaw)
Developed by BigTwit Software, dLaw  includes a wide variety of free legal research resources including a legal dictionary and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate Procedure, and more. For an additional cost, users can purchase resources including state and Federal codes and regulations, the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, and soon, the Uniform Commercial Code.
Cost: Free for the basic app, additional modules $1.99 and up.

CourtLink by LexisNexis
CourtLink is LexisNexis’ docket research tool, allowing subscribers to research active litigation by accessing federal, state and local court records.  Users can set up alerts using the CourtLink website and then use the free Android app to monitor any alerts that pop up.  Alerts are sortable by various factors, including day, attorney, litigant and judge.
Cost: Free, with Courtlink subscription
Also available: iPhone/iPad

The Law Guide / Dictionary
This app was developed by TheLaw.com, a free legal advice website.  The app incorporates a searchable legal dictionary with more than 8,500 definitions, more than 200 legal articles and FAQs, a lawyer directory, a legal job board, and more.  Note that while the legal dictionary is accessible at any time, an Internet connection is necessary to access the web-based guide materials.
Cost: Free
Also available: iPhone/iPad

About Joshua Poje

Joshua Poje
Joshua Poje (@poje) is the Director of the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center, where he provides technology and practice management guidance to attorneys throughout the country. He is the editor of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report and a frequent speaker and writer on legal technology topics. Follow him on: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

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