Login | August 20, 2019

2018 solo and small firm tech survey part 1

Technology for Lawyers

Published: January 25, 2019

The ABA’s annual legal technology survey is out. This is the second overview of this important overview of the current state of legal tech, concentrating on small firms and appearing in two parts.

This section of the survey is on the actual use of technology by solos (like I was for many years) and firms of two to nine lawyers.

First off, only 34 percent of law firms in this category even budget for technology. What? Maybe 66 percent of these firms don’t bother budgeting at all? For anything? Just go to the store with the credit card when you run out of paper? Somebody explain this to me.

Next up, almost 60 percent of these firms are Windows users, up from less than 50 percent in a year. A lot of this may have to do with Office 365 gaining more acceptance/utility in the legal environment.

Fourteen percent of solos and 9 percent of the two to nine’s use MacOS. (Hi, Brett Burney, let’s talk again soon).

Overall, 77 percent of these attorneys are using laptops, with more than 80 percent of solos using them. I think this is tied into the burgeoning of the remote law office.

And now for the—I don’t know. Even though lawyers generally ignore MacOS, they love iOS, as most use the iPad at 77 percent. MS Surface captured 22 percent, leaving Android at like 1 percent. Brett’s wining the tablet wars, anyway.

Only about half of solos utilize a dedicated server, while nearly 90 percent of the two to nine’s can access one. This will narrow as more lawyers go in the cloud. Overall, cloud computing is up 17 percent in two years, to about 60 percent of those surveyed. This is the wave of the future, so hop on it already. Privacy and security be damned!

Overstating the obvious, almost all of those surveyed use email, can work remotely and have email contact systems. That’s a good thing.

About half of those surveyed had document assembly programs, while about a third of them actually use those programs. And the rest (two-thirds) just keep typing the same things over and over. And over.

Kinda like me. On to part 2, next week.