Canadian Legal Apps

[Here is an updated look at Canadian legal apps from 2018]

Canada-specific legal apps are still quite thin on the ground, although the publishers are now more active in releasing updates.  This is still primarily for iPad users.  Here’s a rundown:

  • Case Law.  First to market was LexisNexis Quicklaw (iOS) and that’s pretty much all there is.  No Westlaw Canada app, nor one from CanLII.  Garry Wise has created an iOS app called WiseLII that will search CanLII.  The Law Society of Upper Canada and LexisNexis have an Ontario Reports app which gives access to back issues as well as a handful of cases each week (iOS or Android).
  • E-books.  Thomson Reuters Carswell is delivering e-books through its Thomson Reuters Proview tool (iOS or Android).  LexisNexis sells its books for any e-book reader (iOS, Blackberry, Android).  Kindle isn’t listed but you might try using Calibre to convert the LexisNexis epub format to a mobi file, which is Kindle friendly.  Irwin Law has an online e-book library (Web-based) but you can also download a free app (iOS) for any books you own.
  • Law Journals.  If you aren’t getting your law journals as PDFs (like the free content on SSRN’s Legal Scholarship Network), you can try the HeinOnline app for everything else (iOS).  Law Society members in Ontario and British Columbia have free access through their dues (Canada), as do lawyers in a variety of U.S. jurisdictions through their local law library or bar (Social Law, Jenkins, Hamilton County (OH), NY City Bar, etc.).

There are a variety of e-books, law-related podcasts, and magazines available from the iTunes store.  Other publishers, like Emond Montgomery, also have e-books (iOS or Kobo).

All of which assumes you need an app.  If you are on a tablet, you can probably just surf to the site to do your research.  Sites like CanLII in particular are sufficiently simple in design that they work fine on Safari on the iPad or Firefox on an Android tablet. Irwin’s Canadian Online Legal Dictionary, a free Web site, is also tablet accessible – I wouldn’t say friendly, since the navigation requires a smaller finger or a stylus – as a Web site.

[Disclaimers:  my employer is one of the major funders of CanLII, since Ontario’s lawyer dues are used, in part, to pay for the free resource.  The book that started this blog is a Thomson Reuters Canada Law Book product.  But you already knew that!]

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