by Ben Beasley
Scrivener is a writing application (for Mac and Windows) that combines a word processor with project management software, allowing you to create, structure, and edit any number of documents or reports within a single case file. The real benefit to lawyers is that you can also pull all research and client/case information into the same file. That is, Scrivener allows an attorney to keep all the information and content relevant to a particular client or area of law in the same place.
Scrivener’s features, initially designed to facilitate writing novels and screenplays, lend themselves very well to organizing, tagging, and referencing a client’s case information with research and trial documents.
Specific to the legal field, there’s a Scrivener case study done by California-based business and transactional attorney David Sparks describing why he finds the program useful and how he uses Scrivener in his practice. Scrivener’s flexibility makes for almost endless file management possibilities:
- import images, PDF’s, and text documents (including Microsoft Word docs) as well as create new items with the word processor
- compile and quickly refer to any research such as journals, case law or statutes as well as case specific information such as documents, images, case reports, client interviews, motions, exhibits, witnesses, contracts, etc.
- write, arrange, and rearrange you arguments and ideas with the built-in corkboard
You can find a more comprehensive list of Scrivener’s features on its website.
For all its versatility and efficiency, Scrivener is very reasonably priced at $45 for the Mac version, or $40 for Windows—there’s also a 30-day free trial.
From the developer website: “What about writing on the go? Scrivener’s Simplenote, Index Card and folder syncing features allow you to sync your work with many mobile programs available on the iPad and iPhone. So you can edit and take notes wherever you are, and then sync them all back to your Scrivener project.”
- Improve Legal Memo Writing
- Everything Scrivener
- iPad at Work by David Sparks
- eBook/Book: Scrivener for Dummies