Another New App

March 18, 2014

ezbriefRecently a third-year law student at The University of Michigan Law School invented an iPad app that automates the creation of case briefs.

David Lutz was apparently looking to simplify the process of printing out case PDFs, annotating them and then typing the information into the brief so he came up with BriefCase.

According to Lutz,

the app allows you to annotate PDFs of court decisions using nine customizable highlight colors, with each color representing a facet of a case.  You can also edit the colors to give them any label you want.

Once you’re done, tap the “Brief” button and a case brief is created, with your highlights organized in bullet points under the labels associated with each color.  Each bullet point links back to its place in the text.

There are no iPhone or Android versions. The app is free but for a price of $9.99 a year, users can get additional features. (iTunes download.)

Goodreader is also an app for iPad that allows you to read and in most cases mark up PDFs and many other varieties of documents.  It also has a document management system that allows for multi-level document files and integrates well with Dropbox, email and other applications.

Click HERE for the Hytech Lawyer’s list of 31 great apps for lawyers.

Are there any others that you use at your law school?



Study Tips for Law Students

November 18, 2013

Reposted from the Law School Academic Support Blog (with some additions):

  • Consider putting your outlines on your Kindle (or iPad) for ease in carrying them with you – especially if you are leaving for the Thanksgiving Break.
  • For first-year courses, you might want to consider purchasing the maps at Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law are all available in visual versions.


  • If you rather listen to text rather than read it, you might want to consider two options:
    • Dictation and Speech for Macs reads text that can be converted with iTunes for your iPhone;

    • Outlines Outloud is an app that syncs your computer outlines with your iPhone for listening.

  • Check out the website for the Board of Law Examiners in your state to see if they post old exam questions for your state-specific courses; practice questions are sometimes hard to find for state-specific topics, and old bar questions can be a plus. Here is the link for New York:

bar exams

  • Remember to check your own law school’s exam database for past exams in a course; even if they are for a different professor, the exams may provide good practice questions. (Albany Law School has one on TWEN.)


  • Use a table to help you easily see the variations of the same rule (common law, restatement, uniform code, majority jurisdiction, minority jurisdiction, etc.) that you have to learn for an exam.
  • Check out CALI for review lessons. They have over 900 legal education tutorials.


Any other study tips (especially ones that use technology) that you can recommend?

Mobile Apps for Law School

January 20, 2012

Welcome back students and faculty!

Thanks to UCLA School of Law for this great site: Guide Overview – Mobile Applications for Law Students and Lawyers – LibGuides at UCLA School of Law. 

It provides information about current mobile applications that might be of interest to law students and lawyers. You can download links for apps are provided for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, Palm, and other devices. (I did!!)
 Check back often as new apps will be posted regularly!

What’s New for 2011-12?

August 30, 2011

Albany Law School will offer several technological improvements for the staff, faculty and students this year:


  • CALI – Starting this school year, CALI Lessons are going to look a lot different. Content of the lessons will remain the same, but the new-look lessons will work on mobile devices like iPads and iPhones, lesson runs and scores will be saved automatically and stored in students’ “My Lesson Runs”,  copy and paste from the lesson will be much easier and more…
  • OWA 2010 – IT Services has upgraded the e-mail system from Microsoft Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010.  Improvements include: multi-browser support, conversation view, singl page of messages, nickname cache, forward as attachment, more powerful searching. Click here for a guide to using some of the new features in Outlook Web App (OWA) 2010.

  • TWEN – Students can keep up with TWEN anytime, anywhere.  Go to on your mobile device and log in.
Faculty have increased ability to track student usage of their TWEN site.
 By clicking on User Trail, faculty will be able to see what a specific student has done in their such as what a student has viewed, posted, added, or deleted.
By clicking on Course Activity, faculty can run a specific report by feature (forum, wiki, etc.) to see what kind of activity their course has had.
The 2011 TWEN Administrator Guide is available here.
  • LSE – Faculty will be able to load materials (such as audio and video files) into Law School Exchange (LSE) and incorporate them into their TWEN course site. This will also allow faculty to make copyrighted items available to students by restricting their ability to download through LSE.
  • LexisNexis – Lexis®Advance for Law Schools will be offered sometime this fall. Their new online legal research system will include an easy-to-use search template with pre- and post-search filtering, allowing efficient narrowing of results,  foldering to organize and store research and other new features.
  • New Phone System – Avaya Digital Phone/Voicemail System has been installed for all staff and faculty. This new system will also include voicemail to e-mail is a feature where e-mails are sent to your e-mail address when your voicemail mailbox receives a new voicemail message.
  • Lync – Staff now have Lync 2010 installed on their desktops.  This communications software creates a virtual connection between staff members who work at the law school.  It will enable them to chat, share  their desktop and programs, and work together in real time, all from their computer.  
  • Examsoft – This fall, SoftTestMac will function on all Apple laptops. Students will be able to download a version that is compatible with their OS X.  There will be  two installers, one compatible with Leopard and Snow Leopard, and one compatible with Lion. Students only will see the version of SofTest Mac for their OS X.
  • PortalmyALBANYLAW is a portal where staff, faculty and students will log on with their email/network username and password and have access to ALL their favorite places: email, calendar, WebAdvisor, files, Colleague, announcements, news, discussions, etc.

This portal will rolled out to the users in stages and training offered to each group. Launch date is TBA.

Law Professors: There’s an App For That…

June 17, 2011

The Pikme App for Class Discussions

    • Lets the professor create up to five classes of students (adding students into a class is by hand)
    • During class discussion, if  aprofessor wants to call on a student at random, he/she just opens the app and shakes the phone, and it will suggest a student (but will not call on students multiple times)
    •  Also gives the professor the chance to rate the students’ response
    •  Tracks the # of questions a student has answered, as well as the average score 
    •  Free, and runs on any iOS device running version 3.0 or newer.


    • Professors can design their own presentation using choice of slide masters, animations, fonts, and style options.
    • Professors can show slides on a large screen by attaching your iOS device to an external display or projector using an optional adapter
    • Professors can share work by exporting it to Keynote ’09, Microsoft PowerPoint, or PDF format and sending it via Mail or publish presentations to public  to share with anyone on a Mac or PC.
    • Designed for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch
    • $9.99

by David M. Reed (Computer Science, Capital University).

    • Professors can take attendance and create “flashcards” with student names and photos (school supplies the photos).  
    • Professors an import names from school addressbook

Dropbox Mobile App

    • Professors can also store PDFs of course material, etc. 
    • Professors can save scholarly articles to read later. 
    • Free.


    • Professors can use it to annotate and place sticky notes on documents
    • For  iPhone/iPad/iTouch
    • $2.99.

JotNot Scanner Pro

  • Professors can use to scan and save documents
  • Turns pictures taken from your iPhone into PDFs
  • Professors can use to take a picture of the whiteboard, before  it is erased
  • $0.99.

Thinking Space or  MindJet or MindBlowing  or Popplet

  • Mind-mapping software

Live Blogging from the CDETG Conference

June 3, 2011

CDETG Spring 2011 Conference: Friday, June 3 2011 from 9am-12
Location: ITT Technical Institute of Albany
Topic: Mobile Devices for Teaching & Learning: Impact, Barriers, and Solutions.


  • Judd Rattner –  Intellidemia Concourse Mobile
  • Audeliz Matias, PhD Empire State College  – Mobile Learning Task Force

Panel: A selected panel will reveal what they are doing with mobile devices in the classroom and discuss student expectations. A moderator will question further thoughts on the use of this technology and audience members will have a chance to collaborate and question panel members.

Panel Members:

  • Jeremy Hammond & Justin Carman,  St. Rose –  iPhone/Droid App
  • Kelly Dempsey-Little,  Skidmore College –  Blackboard Mobile
  • James Greenberg,  SUNY Oneonta – ConnectYard
  • Brian Mistler,  Hobart & William Smith Colleges – Mobile Technology for Quizzes
  • Virgina Yonkers,  University at Albany  – Examples of Success & Failures
  • Kyle Songer.  Excelsior College –  Eye on Trends
  • Amanda Hagzan,  Albany Medical College –  Mobile Devices in Medicine

  • Intellidemia Concourse Mobile
    • extension of their online syllabus software
    • everyone is going mobile
    • just another way to interface with their software
    • read only view of content for students
    • faculty cannot edit on mobile
  • Mobile Learning Task Force
    • Horizon Report 2011- by 2015, 80% will be accessing web thru mobile device
    • members explore who to use mobile tech in learning (student average age =35)
    • bought some mobile (iPad, flip camera, netbook, iPod) devices
    • courses are online & instructors are adjunct
    • Projects underway:
      • Discovering Math Across Generations (one class will use mobile devices)
        • students find the apps
        • keep a journal on how they use mobile apps
      • American Popular Music
        • use mobile device to upload assignments
        • use geo tagging
      • Mobile platform to give student access to course calendar, discussion groups, content guides
      • M-Learning – create mobile learning spaces
      • Studies about the technology itself (mobile media)
      • Virtual Public History (mobile vs reg.) – post blog
  •  iPhone/Droid App
    • free app for iPhone or Droid
    • iKnow Saint Rose
    • dynamic informational portal
    • events & notices, course schedules & descriptions, athletics, library resources, campus directory, shuttle schedule, campus map
    • Next – Ruby on Rhodes – web server on phone – online grades, bill pay, etc.
  • Blackboard Mobile (cancelled)
  • ConnectYard
    • course on New Media
    • so many solutions for everything
    • widgetbox – similar to free one from Cornell
    • you decide where the communication goes (FB, twitter, webpage, etc)
  • Mobile Technology for Quizzes (cancelled)
  •  Examples of Success & Failures
    • Most students  have the technology
    • how faculty use the technology
      • communication – email goes to mobile device
      • posting assignments
        • FB doesn’t work (students use for social not academic)
      • resources
        • students aren’t downloading audio & video
        • pdfs hard to read
      • projects
        • students can use whatever technology they want
        • demo to the rest of class
  • Eye on Trends
    • info as toi be able to go from course to go from one platform to another
    • html5 or flash (html easier)
    • webconferencing – adobeconnect prof – mobile option
    • remote computing- –  collaborate on the same computer
    • hands on – active learning, simulations, problem solving activities
  • Mobile Devices in Medicine
    • 3rd yr med students course on mobile devices
      • 2005 – started using pdas (Palm)
      • 2007 – focus on mobile medical resources
      • 2008 – Blackberry, iPod Touch arrived
      • 2009 – Smartphones in abundance – students requesting access to school resources
      • 2010 – no need to focus on the tech but on its use
      • 2011 – librarian taking over, IT steps back


Other Info:

    • http://appsbar.comcreate your own mobile app
    • Article from Educause – Are you ready for mobile learning?
      • What is the rationale for implementing mobile learning technologies?
        • convenience
        • affordable
        • internet access
      • Will increased use of shorthand in synchronous and asynchronous communication affect students’ writing ability in the long term?
      • Will brevity of expression trump depth of knowledge?
      • Will it become easier for students to cheat during tests? Is this issue relevant to twenty-first-century learning?
      • What course content is suitable for transmission to mobile computing/communication devices?
      • Will the quality of communication and interaction be enhanced or diminished by adopting mobile learning pedagogy?
      • Do mobile devices allow students to interact with peers and instructors at the same level and quality as if they were participating using a PC?
      • Will a shift in emphasis from e-learning to mobile learning increase the gap between the haves and have-nots?
      • Will the quality of the instructional content be improved, enhanced, or downgraded by transferring to a mobile-compatible format?
      • What types of resistance to change will faculty and students experience?
      • How will the instructor’s role change?
    • Kyle Songer’s answers to the above questions
    • Uses of Mobile Devices
      • gaming
      • simulations
      • interactive whiteboard
      • collaboration
      • data collection for assignment
      • face to face conferencing (skype)
      • student content creation
      • connecting with environments
      • feed collection for podcasts, rss feeds
      • ereader
      • crowd sourcing
      • sharing info
    • uMobile
      • part of Jasig – a consortium of educational institutions and commercial affiliates sponsoring open source software projects for higher education.
      •  a new initiative that will help institutions expedite the delivery of campus applications, content, and data to everyone using mobile devices
      • 2004 – RPI started supporting Blackberry
      • 2008 – mobile website –
      • everything is mobile friendly but not mobile perfect
      • use Drupal for website – add css to make mobile
      • UCLA & MIT have mobile platforms – using open source

Next CDETG meeting will held in Octobr 2011.  Topic and location TBA.

Law Students: There’s an App For That…

May 25, 2011

As law students prepare for the Bar Exam, in addition to all the materials provied by the Bar Prep courses, some students may want a digital study aid.

Law in a Flash is a flash card app published by Modality. An overview of the various features of the App is available here.

16 Law Apps are available:

  • Civil Procedure Part One
  • Civil Procedure Part Two
  • Constitutional Law Part One (National and State Powers)
  • Constitutional Law Part Two (Individual Rights)
  • Contracts
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Future Interests
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Sales
  • Torts
  • Wills & Trusts