Are today’s law firms stuck in the Stone Age? The common belief is that while the modern day workplace may embrace technology, the legal profession often struggles to incorporate ideas five, ten, even twenty years old. Is that true?
Well, maybe. See, it turns out we aren’t as far behind as we thought. Sure, legal professionals still have a long way to go, but this year’s International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) technology survey showed that in 2015, lawyers and law firms were making headway in the tech world.
The ILTA surveyed 420 law firms with 185,000 legal professionals (88,000 of which are attorneys) on technology usage in law firms of all shapes and sizes. The results generally show that usage and spending on technology is on the rise (even if it is only marginal).
For example, law firms are updating their servers. 68% of firms are using Windows 2008, down from the 80% in last year’s survey. Adoption of Windows Server 2012 is up to 31% after only achieving a mere 18% in the previous year.
As far as an overall operating system goes, lawyers are still set on Windows 7. 73% of respondents are using this OS, but there’s hope. 27% of respondents are using or are at least considering using Microsoft Surface Pro, which requires a minimum of Windows 8 or even Windows 10.
When it comes to cloud computing, this year many lawyers saw value in modernizing. 52% of law firms are using SharePoint as an online collaboration tool and intranet.
But it doesn’t stop there. According to the ABA’s 2015 Technology Survey, lawyers are even using apps.
On the job, respondents used both strictly legal apps and general business apps. The top spots were held by LinkedIn, DropBox, Evernote, Fastcase, WestlawNext, and legal dictionary apps.
Given all that, maybe it’s time to reconsider poking fun at our profession’s tech savviness. We may not be savants in the realm, but we certainly have made some progress.