Every year the American Bar Association publishes a multi-volume report on technology trends in the legal industry. As is usually the case, this year’s report offers lots of interesting insight into how lawyers are using technology.
One of the most telling findings from the report is that solo and small firm lawyers are increasingly using web-based software in their law practices. In fact, 72% of solo and small firm lawyers reported that online document storage was now available in their law offices.
The primary reasons so many lawyers are now using web-based software in their practices? Convenience and affordability. But for many lawyers, the benefits offered are much more than that. For example, 67% of solos and 78% of small firm lawyers cited easy access to data from anywhere as one of the greatest benefits of using web-based software in their law firms.
Another popular benefit was 24/7 availability, with 72% of solos citing it as an important factor, as did 67% of small firm attorneys. Affordability was also a factor for 68% of solos and 65% of small firm lawyers. 56% of solos and 53% of small firm lawyers reported that another benefit was the ability to quickly get the software up and running in their law office.
Security also weighed in as an important benefit, with 53% of solos and 47% of small firms lawyers stressing the value of robust data backup and recovery of cloud computing. Finally, another reason many lawyers are making the move to web-based software is the corresponding reduction in IT costs, with 44% of solos and 53% of small firms citing the cost-saving benefits of eliminating the need for IT and software management at their firms.
According to the survey results, when it coms to case case management software, the top 5 most popular features with lawyers are:
- Centralized case/matter management
- Document management
- Time and billing
- Scheduling/calendaring capabilities
- Contact management
Finally, more and more lawyers are beginning to take advantage of the many benefits of using web-based practice management software to collaborate online with with their colleagues and clients. Twenty-one percent of lawyers reported that by using web-based portals they were able to streamline their firm’s communication and collaboration processes in a secure online environment, avoiding the time-consuming back and forth of phone tag. The top three tasks lawyers accomplished using client portals were document sharing, messaging/communication, and invoicing/bill payment.
And, according to the report, of the solo lawyers who reported using client portals in their practice, nearly 1/3 used MyCase, with its built-in client portal, as their law practice management software.
You can learn more interesting statistics about how lawyers will use web-based law practice management software in 2015 from the infographic below: