I get it! You are incredibly busy. Each and every day is filled with client needs, court deadlines, and endless administrative tasks. Not to mention the constant need to market and manage the firm. When you have this much responsibility on your shoulders, it can be extremely refreshing to learn about resources specifically designed to help you practice law, especially when they are free.
Well, here is your breath of fresh air for the day – an entire post dedicated to providing you with the free resources for attorneys. So, close your office door and turn off your phone while you take a few minutes to explore some resources that may make the practice of law a little easier to handle.
Legal research tools
- FindLaw for Legal Professionals – This staple of the legal industry offers case law, case summaries, statutes, legal news, and court updates.
- Google Scholar – You probably don’t think of Google when it’s time for legal research, but this tool is free, easy to use, and includes databases of state appellate court and federal court case law.
- Justia – A valuable resource for case law, statutes, regulations, articles, and opinion summaries. For state specific research, check out the site’s state options.
- Casetext – With this innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, you can upload your legal documents, briefs, memos, and complaints into CARA AI for analysis of its content and relevant authorities.
- EVA – Ross Intelligence has also introduced an AI tool you may find useful. By uploading your document into the database, you get information about negative treatment of cited cases, other sources on the relevant question of law, and comprehensive case summaries.
Blogs have gained a significant place within the legal community. Not only do they serve as excellent marketing tools for firms, they also facilitate the sharing of information among legal professionals. While it’s useful to have so many legal blogs to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out which ones offer the most value for your time and efforts.
In 2017, the ABA Journal released its Hall of Fame for the most outstanding legal blogs. Here are some of the blogs that made the list:
- Above the Law – A sweeping view of the legal profession, including recent headlines, as well as law school and law firm directories.
- [email protected] – A highly regarded legal blog offering tips and advice for law practice management.
- Election Law Blog – A comprehensive look at election law issues from a University of California at Irvine professor.
- iPhone J.D. – Informative reviews of mobile applications and how they can be of benefit (or not) to attorneys in their professional and personal lives.
- Gavel to Gavel – A blog covering legislation from across the country affecting the courts and judicial administration.
- Lawyerist – A humorous and raw take on law-practice-management, covering everything from law firm marketing to the latest in technology.
- My Shingle – D.C. lawyer Carolyn Elefant shares her experience and ideas on the practice of law from the solo and small practice perspective.
- Lexblog – With a goal of “empowering a global network built around the company’s mission to provide real-time news and insights powered by the legal community,” LexBlog maintains more than 19,000 bloggers within its network, including more than 500 from the top 200 law firms in the nation.
Podcasts are a must-have for the multi-tasking attorney. Whether you are sitting in traffic or grabbing a quick lunch, turn on a podcast and take in some valuable information with minimal effort. As with the blog posts, the ABA Journal also published its list of best legal podcasts. Here are a few of the winners:
- The Citizen’s Guide to the Supreme Court – With an interesting back-and-forth banter, this podcast actually makes case briefing entertaining.
- Evolve Law – This podcast features interviews with some of the leading innovators in law firm technology.
- Hustle & Flow – Tips about business and career development from a former BigLaw partner and practice leader.
- Lawyer 2 Lawyer – There’s never a dull moment when lawyers with opposing perspectives on legal issues are paired up for interesting conversations.
- Legal Toolkit – Presentation of various law practice topics, with a concentration on useful project management techniques.
- Un-Billable Hour – Dedicated to helping lawyers make more successful, an employment lawyer presents topics such as bookkeeping, litigation financing and process management.
Show me a lawyer without a smartphone and I’ll show you a lawyer who is missing out on free applications. From file sharing to legal research, there are some pretty useful apps on the market to benefit lawyers. Here are a few of the top rated, no-cost options:
- Fastcase iPad app – This handy tool offers free access to the Fastcase law library and legal research database.
- Dropbox – With free options, this a file-sharing system that allows you to share files from one device to another. It’s a must-have for any lawyer pursuing a paperless practice.
- Picture It Settled Lite – This meditation and negotiation tool provides you with case assessment tools like statistical data and probability sciences.
Sometimes, the most useful online legal resources for attorneys come in the form of free content on various legal sites. For example, the American Bar Association, as well as state and local bar associations offer tons of valuable content. From free educational webinars to ebooks and guides that can be accessed right from their websites at no charge.
TimeSolv legal billing software maintains a website that is filled with valuable content about various aspects of legal practice. Their monthly webinars provide tips and tricks for using the platform, with a Knowledge Base packed full of information. The Time Solv blog offers insightful advice about law office management and legal billing.
There’s no shortage of free resources on the internet. Take advantage of them to help you through the daily hustle and bustle of legal practice.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.