The major legal publishers do not seem to have much vision when it comes to their legal research apps (here and here) but there are some gems in their news tools. The free Thomson Reuters News Pro tool is mostly just press releases and I didn’t think it is particularly helpful, although it was nice to see an app that had been developed for Android as well as for the Apple products.
One iPhone only app that is legal specific (and not listed on the list of Westlaw-related apps and mobile sites on the Westlaw Web site, above) is the Westlaw News and Insight app for iPhone and iPad, powered by Reuters Legal. It has national (US) legal news, bankruptcy news, and California and securities litigation updates. It is full content, without needing a password, and is a great resource if you practice in the areas covered. The national news section actually covers many practice areas, so there is likely to be some relevant content for just about any lawyer.
Some of the content has hyperlinks, outside the app and to public Web sites. Funnily enough, Westlaw hasn’t bothered to include links to its own content, like a case mentioned in the text. This would seem to be an obvious opportunity to get people to access content within their proprietary environment.
The app is not limited to news, however, and I was impressed by their inclusion of court documents. These are provided as full text, scanned PDFs so that you can get directly to the source after reading about a case.
All in all, a good app to add to your Apple portable device and see if it becomes a part of your research toolkit. It takes advantage of browsing, which is a nice change to the rather limited search on other legal research apps.