2011 ABA Legal Technology Survey

The American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center has been surveying practicing attorneys about their technology choices for more than a decade. This annual Legal Technology Survey Report is recognized as the source for information regarding the use of technology by attorneys in private practice.
The 2011 findings are now available:
• Vol. 1: Technology Basics
• Vol. 2: Law Office Technology
• Vol. 3: Litigation and Courtroom Technology
• Vol. 4: Web and Communication Technology
• Vol. 5: Online Research
• Vol. 6: Mobile Lawyers
The 2011 report is issued as a six-volume set of PDF files, covering technology basics, litigation and courtroom technology, law office technology, web and communication technology, mobile lawyers, and online research. The survey can be purchased as a complete set or by individual volume.
This year’s survey was conducted from January through May 2011. A 144-question survey was divided into six separate questionnaires. Electronic invitations were sent, generating 4,909 completed questionnaires. In 2011 new questions were added about some of the devices and technologies invading the marketplace.
According to Catherine Sanders Reach, the director of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center and her article in law.com’s Corporate Counsel, smartphone use has increased from 79% in 2010 to 88%. In large firms with 100 or more lawyers, the number was up to 98%. Solo respondents were the least likely to use a smartphone (78% in 2011, compared with 65% in 2010).
Practicing attorneys seek browser access from anywhere (70 percent), 24/7 availability (55 percent), low cost of entry and predictable monthly expense (49 percent), quick to get up and running (44 percent), and elimination of IT & software management requirements (43 percent) led the list of benefits.
Lawyers described their top three reservations with cloud computing as a lack of familiarity with the technology (63 percent), followed by confidentiality/security concerns (47 percent), and concerns of having less control of their data because it’s hosted by the provider and not on their own servers/computers (41 percent).