Matt Miller is a new Louisiana attorney who graduated from Tulane Law School this past May and just found out earlier this month that he passed the Louisiana Bar. (Congrats, Matt!) Matt has a degree in computer science from Duke and worked as a software engineer before law school, so he decided that as a "break" from his law studies he would write some iPhone apps. Seeing that nobody else was selling Louisiana law for the iPhone, Matt took it upon himself to create apps containing the Louisiana Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Evidence. All three apps are now available in the App Store. Matt gave me some free copies for review purposes on the day that he found out that he passed the bar (I wonder if he would have charged me for them if he had failed?) and I've been checking them out for the last few weeks. They work great and if you practice law in Louisiana, you'll find them to be valuable additions to your iPhone.
All three apps look and work the same way, so for this review I'll just focus on the Louisiana Civil Code app. Upon starting the app, you see the different Books of the Civil Code. Tap on a Book to see the Titles, then tap a Title to see the Articles. While this is a nice way to see the different articles in context, you can also just browse a list of articles. Tap the "All Articles" button at the bottom and you will see a full list of articles, with an index on the side that allows you to jump through the long list.
Tap on an article to view the text. There are PREV and NEXT buttons at the top that allow you to browse through the articles. When you come across an article that you will want to see again in the future, there is a button at the top right that says "Bookmark." Just tap it to add the article to your list of bookmarks. (If an article is already bookmarked, then the bookmark button at the top right will be hidden.)
You can also search the full text of the Civil Code. Just tap the search button at the bottom and start to type your term. As you are typing, articles that contain the term instantly appear. Tap on a search result to see the full text, and when looking at an article you can tap the button at the top left to return to your list of search results. The search feature is very simple; no "AND" or "OR" searches, just terms. Also, the search results do not highlight your search term, so you'll have to find it yourself in the article.
Unlike some other legal reference apps, there is no option in these apps to e-mail the text of an article. However, you can use the standard copy and paste functions to select text and copy it, and Matt is thinking about adding an e-mail button in the future. Other features that Matt may add in the future include the ability to adjust the text size, the ability to use gestures to go to the next or previous articles, and perhaps also a "cross reference" of articles.
Matt (pictured at the right) is now studying for the Patent Bar, after which he will become an associate in the IP group of Carver Darden. I know that one of Matt's passions (besides his daughter) is playing with his dogs—for almost five years he has run the website Urban Pug—but I hope that he finds the time to add new features to these apps and bring us more great iPhone apps.