If you don’t like long hours in the library, then a law degree is probably not the right course for you. However, if you feel that you have a future in the legal profession then there are an increasing number of apps that can help you with your study. Some of these are rather pricey, but many are free and available to provide useful support in a challenging field. On the Case (http://www.lexisnexis.co.uk/en-uk/students/legal-app.page) was created by legal publishers LesixNexis and allows students access to 300,000 legal cases and definitions of over 3,500 legal terms and phrases. Cases can be searched by name, citation or keyword, and each case has a status signal to indicate how it was treated by a judge. To access it, download the LexisLibrary app and follow the “academic” link. However, the app will only be free if you’re able to use your university email address to register, and it’s currently only available for the iPhone.
CamScanner (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/camscanner-free-pdf-document/id388627783?mt=8) and Tiny Scanner (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tiny-scanner-pdf-scanner-to/id595563753?mt=8) are both free and turn your phone into a scanner, enabling you to create PDFs by scanning any document. Dictamus (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dictate-+-connect-dictamus/id305870342?mt=8) costs £12.99 (HK$128) and allows your phone to function as a Dictaphone to avoid desperate scribbling in lectures, although you may get equally good results with free software already stored on your phone.
For those who struggle with referencing, citations, endnotes and bibliographies, RefMe (https://www.refme.com/uk/) is a free app that distinguishes itself by allowing you to scan the barcodes of books and journals you are citing from. However, be warned, it is not advisable to rely on referencing software without knowing how to complete the process manually, otherwise you will lack a vital research skill and won’t recognise mistake if they are made. There are numerous apps designed to keep you up to date with legal news and general current affairs, including Legal Cheek, Law Society Gazette, ABA Journal and LexisNexis Newsdesk. You can just subscribe to newspapers or read them for free online, but these apps do the sifting for you, finding relevant stories to your studies.
It is worth becoming familiar with old favourites like Google Drive or DropBox if you aren’t already. Not only do they keep things like assignments and key documents on the cloud, allowing you to access them from all of your devices, they also guard against accidents, ensuring file backups and meaning that you never loose vital information. Ever knocked a cup of coffee over your laptop or dropped your phone? Now you know what we’re talking about. So, while nothing and nobody can undertake the gruelling work of law school and placements for you, we hope these apps make the process a little more efficient.
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