Missing Apps Abound on Small Firm Innovation

April’s theme at Small Firm Innovation took a look at “the missing app.”

There was a time when “Is there an app for that?” was more a catch phrase than serious question. Today, we use apps for any number of things, from day-to-day task management to banking to purchasing movie tickets to managing a law practice. It’s given rise to the “App Economy,” an engine of job growth in an otherwise still dismal economy.

Despite the proliferation of apps for things, Small Firm Innovation contributors came up with some missing apps from both a practice and personal perspective.

Joseph Bahgat suggested the road warrior TV remote, and made the case for a two-factor authentication app. That tied nicely into a post from Tom Mighell on passwords done right.  And not surprisingly, there were a number of iPhone users who posted. Despite the proliferation of iPhones and iPads that seems to fuel the “App Economy,” however, there are also Android users in the midst. There was also a post from The Droid Lawyer himself, Jeffery Taylor, on translating Google Calendar entries into fee entries in a time and billing program.

One of the more interesting posts came from Chad Burton, who suggested an app to flag uncivil conduct. Called Are Your Sure (AYS), he describes it working as follows:

AYS will flag and reject emails, letters, court filings, and even phone calls where lawyers are engaging in truly uncivil conduct.  They will face possible discipline from courts or ethics boards in each state.  While each state will differ, a tiered system of violations seems appropriate.  For example, three AYS violations equals a public reprimand, five violations constitutes a six-month suspension, and with ten AYS violations, the lawyer loses his or her license indefinitely.

Given the increased use of iPads in the court room, and the general increase of lawyers running and managing their practices on the go, an app to flag uncivil conduct seems like an innovative, perhaps even natural, progression of the “App Economy” legal niche.

Or perhaps fully adopting electronic filing across the board, as Tom Haren suggests, is a simpler, perhaps easier, place to start.