The American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section has a great selection of books for lawyers. Sometimes they’re a bit overpriced, but you can find decent materials on specific topics, especially tech. That’s why, when I saw a promotion for Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers by Daniel Siegel, I was actually quite saddened.
Why? Because that’s what this site is all about. Android, Apps, and lawyers. And I won’t charge you $39.95 for the information. In fact, I publish a yearly list of apps for lawyers, and I’m building this list of attorney-specific apps as a resource for lawyers using Android.
Storing documents, security, organization, communication, editing documents, on-the-go learning, utilities, travel apps, and social media, this site has them too.
Well, those were my thoughts before reading the book.
Where we’re headed
From the beginning, Dan mentions that the biggest flaws of his book are: 1) personal opinion; and 2) the ever-changing nature of the Android app market. Dan has taken on a vast project, and ultimately, he cohesively summarizes the countless number of apps that are available. Dan does a good job of covering a lot of apps. This is a very general book, geared towards anyone, not just lawyers (unless you want to charge more), looking to get more information about Android and a number of available apps.
Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers,begins with a basic overview of the concept of apps, the Android system, and where to find the applications. Each of the app explanations contains a brief summary of the app, and a bit.ly link to its place in Google Play.
Dan introduced me to a couple apps, such as BoxCryptor (free), which can encrypt files in your cloud storage account, which I had passed over as non-important or “not for primetime.” The book has 11 “lessons” that break up each category of app, or provide instructions about using the applications.
The book is definitely geared to new users, and established Android users will find this book dull. Dan throws in some occasional “how to” spots to spice up the reading, but they’re basic tips because of the many flavors of Android devices.
A little disagreement and a lot of disappointment
He also leaves out some of the more popular apps on my list, such as Waze, Netflix, and Dictadroid, in lieu of others.
I’m also disappointed that Dan discusses every Google app, but fails to mention Google Voice or Google Now. Admittedly, I often overlook the Google Voice app in my presentations, but it’s an almost essential app for any solo or small firm practitioner. Also, probably because of publishing time, the book fails to mention or iJuror, which are both available for Android tablets. Again, the great thing about Android is that it’s continually evolving and improving because of the open source nature of Android.
Overall, I give this a 3.5 of 5. Well written, very informative, but the book is definitely very basic, and unfortunately not worth the $40 price tag. That’s a costly 130 pages of rudimentary information.
Ultimately, the most useful thing about this book is to show Android is just as useful iOS when it comes to mobile attorney apps.
Dan doesn’t harbor any hard feelings against me for this post, since we presented at ABA TECHSHOW 2014 together. Needless to say, Dan know his Android stuff and does very well at showing how to use Android in your law practice.
This post was originally published on March 29, 2013.