Megan Erickson is an associate in the Des Moines, Iowa office of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen. Her primary practice area is employment law, but she also has a general practice including areas such as commercial litigation, constitutional law and business law. Erickson is a longtime reader of iPhone J.D. and tells me "I don't know how I survived before I had my iPhone!" Erickson was kind enough to share this story with me about how she has used her iPhone in her practice:
During opening remarks in a hearing last year, opposing counsel misstated a key legal issue in the case. Our lead counsel leaned over, asking me to run back to the office (about 3 blocks away ... and it was raining that day) to print off the case we both knew was directly on point – he wanted me to pull out the key quote and get him the citation for the court. As much as I love sprinting in a suit and heels, in the rain, in 80-degree weather, I whipped out my iPhone instead. I pulled up Google Scholar on my browser, quickly typed in the case name, and had the case I needed within seconds. I jotted down the crucial sentence and case citation, and passed it to my colleague. He grinned. I got ‘cool associate’ points. And I chalk that up as a happy ending for all.
Erickson has an interest in social media, and she publishes Social Networking Law Blog, a great website devoted to the "intersection of technology, social media, Web 2.0 and the law." The iPhone helps with her blog, as Erickson explains:
Particularly for my blogging, I love having so many news sources at my fingertips. In addition to my own blog (www.socialnetworkinglawblog.com), I also contribute to two others – so it’s important to stay current! The free AP Mobile app is among my favorite news sources, and I like the MobileRSS app [Free version with ads: ; $2.99 version without adds: ] (but admit I need to get in a more regular routine of keeping up with my reader). Twitter has also become a great source of news and legal trends. Shameless plug: follow me @erickson_meg!
I also use an RSS reader and Twitter on both my iPhone and iPad to help me produce iPhone J.D. For example, I am always on the lookout for articles to link to in my Friday "In the News" posts. My favorite RSS reader is NetNewsWire. On my iPhone I use the $4.99 premium version that doesn't include ads , and on my iPad I use the $9.99 NetNewsWire for iPad . My favorite Twitter client on the iPhone is Twitterific .
- Nolo Law Dictionary – until Black’s price comes down, this is a nice free tool to have handy. [My review of Nolo is here; my review of Black's Law Dictionary is here.]
- Mr. Number – reverse phone number lookup that (at least in my experience) even finds cell phone numbers. [This free app is new to me: ]
- LawStack – I like having the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and Federal Rules of Evidence at my fingertips via this free app. [My review is here.]
- Court Days – useful app to calculate court days/calendar days (although, I always double-check when I’m calculating a filing deadline). [My review is here.]
Thanks so much to Megan Erickson for sharing some of her lawyer iPhone stories with all of us. I'd love to hear from the rest of you as well! You can send your stories about how you use the iPhone and/or iPad in your practice to firstname.lastname@example.org.