Every week, I commit two to three total hours to reading, learning, and cataloguing new websites, apps, and other legal technology. The exercise of learning new skills, retaining new information, and stretching your mental capabilities keeps your brain sharp, and can decrease your risk of mental fatigue and “aging brain.” Today, I’ll share with you some of my favorite online legal resources and tools that can keep you focused and learning.
- LTN: Law Technology News: This website discusses burgeoning legal technology, product reviews, product suggestions, and legal rulings regarding technology. The content ranges from “fit for legal technology novices” to “written for legal technology experts.”
- Law Technology Today: This is the American Bar Association’s legal technology website. with sections on hardware, software, security, and marketing. The best part: the website also offers its own “how-to” tutorials and product demos.
- The TechnoLawyer: You must create an account to access this website, and then the TechnoLawyer news will come to you. The TechnoLawyer’s weekly newsletter spotlights new technology, legal issues surrounding technology, product reviews, and practice management tips.
Legal News with a Spin
If you can’t seem to bring yourself to read law review article after law review article, check out the more entertaining legal news sites that put a little spice in their commentary.
- Above the Law: While this news site probably isn’t new to you, it is a dense source of very fascinating, relevant, and newsworthy legal industry articles. The site even has a “career center” to help attorneys and legal staff find jobs.
- Overlawyered: The short commentary allows you to breeze through a lot of content quickly, giving you a swift update on bizarre legal news. Each article includes multiple sites and references allowing you to dig deeper into the content that interests you most.
- Evernote: This website and corresponding app are lifesavers for me. The ability to sync instantly between devices, app, and website means that you can collect information and thoughts anywhere and keep it organized for later viewing. Evernote is great for those moments when you don’t have a notepad or your case management system handy. Just don’t forget to transfer over information.
- IFTTT: IFTTT stands for “If Then, Then That.” You can program your devices and applications to automatically push information, update you, or generally automate functions on your mobile devices. For instance, you can very quickly set up a rule that pushes your phone’s notes to Evernote, sends you a weekly text reminding you to update your case files, and so much more.
- RescueTime: This website and corresponding application help you determine where and how you are spending your time. Everyday you receive a chart detailing where your time went. In a law firm, time is money, and knowing where you spend your time is imperative. The site also gives you tips on how to be more productive and ways to allocate your limited time more efficiently.
- Legal Talk Network: This must-have for busy lawyers hosts more than two dozen legally-minded podcasts, some of which count for CLE credit.
- NPR: Law: NPR’s legal podcasts range in topic from discussions of Supreme Court cases to reports on human rights violations to Congressional updates.
- Yale Law School: Much like NPR: Law, Yale Law School’s podcasts cover a wide range of topics, but sound more like law review articles than nationally syndicated news stories. Every podcast is fascinating, well discussed, and very professional. You walk away from each episode feeling like you just attended a lecture at the prestigious university.
The following are not necessarily law-related sites, but are valuable online educational tools. Remember, learning new things keeps the mind sharp!
- Duolingo: Learn a language absolutely free. This app and website are getting rave reviews for their intuitive, quick, and effective method for learning a new language. Right now the site supports Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. The site is also good for refreshing your knowledge if you have a previous grasp of one of those languages.
- udemy: This is absolutely one of my favorite sites on this list. udemy focuses on presenting individual classes on a wide variety of topics for reasonable prices. While some online classes are free, most cost between $49.00 and $99.00, and all are self-paced. From learning to code to advanced Microsoft Office functions to Astronomy, you can learn so much for great prices. (Yes, there are law-related topics as well.)
Do you have an online legal resource recommendation? Leave me a comment, and let me know! I’m always interested in learning new things.
And as always, if you need help with your law firm’s technology, email us. At Stacey E. Burke, P.C., we’re here to help you build a lean, mean law firm.