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Legal Currents: IPad, iPhone apps for the traveling lawyer

Nicole Black

If you’re a lawyer with an iPad or an iPhone and you travel frequently, this article was written just for you. In it, you’ll learn about the latest travel apps and how you can use them to make your travels more organized, pleasurable and relaxing.

First, use your mobile device (many of these apps are available for Android devices as well) to plan your trip. Download Kayak and Trip Advisor, both of which are free and available for either the iPhone or iPad.

Use the Trip Advisor app to read your fellow travelers’ reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions at your chosen destination. You can then use that app to book a flight or hotel reservation. Or, if you want to compare prices offered by hundreds of different travel sites, use Kayak to book your flight, hotel and car reservations.

Then, download the TripIt app, a free app for both the iPhone and iPad. Forward all of your itinerary confirmation emails to TripIt, so that you’ll have all of your itineraries for your trip in one place, easily accessible via your mobile device.

Next, prepare for your trip. Get ready for the airport security checkpoint by downloading the free My TSA app. This app is issued by the Transport-ation Security Administration and provides quick access to everything you need to know about the airport security process, including wait times at various airports and other useful information such as TSA procedures and which items you can take through checkpoints.

If you are traveling internationally, there are three useful apps that you should consider. First, there’s the SmartTraveler app issued by the U.S. Department of State. This free app offers “updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more.”

Two other free apps useful for international travel are iTranslate, which provides translation for over 50 different languages via voice recognition and speech output, and the Currency app, which provides up-to-date currency exchange information.

Once you arrive at the airport, take advantage of the GateGuru, a free iPhone app. This app  provides maps of major airport terminals, including restaurants and stores, along with citizen reviews of various businesses located in the terminal.

While waiting for your flight, catch up on the latest legal news using any number of free apps, including the LexisNexis Legal News app, the ABA Journal’s app or Findlaw’s legal news app.

Once you arrive at your destination, find a place to eat based on reviews from other diners using the Yelp or Urbanspoon free apps. Then, make reservations using the OpenTable app and hail a taxi using the Taxi Magic app.

For free information about other businesses, including stores, gas stations, restaurants, coffee shops, etc., near your hotel, try the Around Me app. And if you’re interested in learning about local events or excursions, the Goby app is just what you need.

Finally, make sure to have the free Fastcase app available in case you need to conduct last minute legal research and be sure to download one of the many free scanner apps as well. That way, if necessary, you can scan documents using your iPhone’s camera and then email PDFs of the documents to your office.

These days, air travel isn’t always the most pleasant experience, especially in this post-9/11 era. But at least there are mobile apps available to help streamline the process by putting all the information you need right at your fingertips. While air travel will never be perfect, these apps should help to make the process less stressful and more enjoyable.

Nicole Black is of counsel to Fiandach & Fiandach in Rochester. She co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise, and is currently writing a book about cloud computing for lawyers that will be published by the ABA. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at nblack@nicoleblackesq.com.

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