Part 2 – Legal Research in Your Pocket: Free Non-Subscription Services

Apps for accessing fee-based services which were covered in Part 1 – Legal Research in Your Pocket: Fee-based Services differ greatly from the ones covered here, in that subscription services usually offer a greater breadth of content. Nonetheless, for mobile research on a shoe-string budget, free is good, and the seven apps below are good starting points.

  1. dLaw (formerly DroidLaw) is a free Android app that comes preloaded with the text of the U.S. Constitution and many federal court rules and in-app purchase options including State Code, United States Code, United States Supreme Court opinions, Code of Federal Regulations, Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) and the Uniform Commercial Code. Keyword searching and the ability to limit searching to specific chapters and titles plus offline saving make this the go-to legal research app for Android devices.
  2. LawStack is a free iOS app that comes preloaded with the text of the U.S. Constitution and multiple federal rules effective as of December 1, 2013. Additional in-app purchases for a small fee allow downloads of the Code of Federal Regulations, the U.S. Code, and statutes from a number of states. Offline access, full-text search capabilities, and more make this a must-have app for your legal research needs.
  3. LawSauce a very inexpensive app ($1.99) billing itself as a “GPS for lawyers” is an e-resource locator designed to quickly find the right web resource for your legal tasks. It will locate both free and fee-based services (i.e. Westlaw, Lexis) that meet your legal research needs. The content is organized by broad geographical areas (United States, Canada, UK, Europe) and it provides access to over 8,000 records including case-law, legislative materials, legal journals and more. Regularly updated content and prompts to sync your device when updates are released makes this a great app for finding the sources of information on the Web for national and international legal research.
  4. FedCourts app provides access to the federal rules, local rules for all U.S. federal courts, and PACER. In addition, the app provides turn-by-turn directions to any federal courthouse in the U.S. The app is $2.99 and may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for iOS devices and from Google Play for Droid devices.
  5. ISCOTUSnow is a free app available for iOS and Droid devices that provides details on all U.S. Supreme Court cases accepted for review or decided by the court in both the current and immediately preceding terms.
  6. LawBox  is a legal reference and search utility app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It is billed as the fastest full text legal search engine on any mobile device. The built-in library allows users to download state and federal codes as needed. It offers  both free and low-cost content. Individual code items are $4.99. For those who need wide-ranging reference for a given jurisdiction, they offer a bulk purchase option that includes the entire law for any given state, or the entire U.S. Code, for just $24.99. Free downloads are offered for federal rules and the United States Constitution.
  7. LawGuide is an Android app developed by the creators of the TheLaw.com legal website. It is free and provides access to a legal dictionary, legal forms, case reviews, job post board, the New York Code and more. The app may be downloaded from Google Play.

About Cheryl Niemeier

Cheryl Niemeier is Director of Knowledge & Research Services at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP. Ms. Niemeier received her Master of Science in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1986 and her Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana in 1981. Ms. Niemeier has held multiple professional leadership positions in local, regional and national library associations. She frequently speaks at professional association conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Ms. Niemeier has authored multiple articles and seminar publications.
This entry was posted in Legal Research, Mobile, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Part 2 – Legal Research in Your Pocket: Free Non-Subscription Services

  1. Pingback: Top 10 2014 Blog Posts | Bose Law and Technology Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s