2009 ABA Legal Technology 2: The Count

TheCount Fast on the heels of my prior post about the ABA Legal Technology Survey, comes more excerpts that I think are of interest…

Attorneys;  you really need to take note of these statistics.  This is where technology is taking us, and you have a clear choice.  You can either jump on the bandwagon…or end up chasing it!

One interesting item I noted was that, in many cases, survey results for 2009 were either at par with 2008 or even slightly lower.  Based on my experience – and my observations of exponential growth in many of these areas – my theory is that this is purely due to the economic downturn.  Margin-of-error would explain some of it, but no other factors I can think of would produce this result.


60% of survey respondents say they use PDAs (BlackBerry's, etc.) in the courtroom – hopefully not while the court's in session (I've seen that icy glare from the judge more than once!).  Only 39% reported doing so in the 2007 survey.  That's quite a jump in a short period of time.


54% report that they receive e-discovery requests (on behalf of their clients, of course).  46% indicate that they make e-discovery requests.  An interesting bi-bifurcation, here.  Receipt of e-discovery requests is growing relatively steadily, whereas making e-discovery requests was at 74% in 2007, 50% in 2008 and 46% in 2009 – a sharp drop-off.


A sparse 11% of respondents report that their firms have polices re attorney blawgs.  When large firms are broken out separately, 25% have policies.  This shouldn't be too surprising to anyone since large firms are more likely to be aware of their potential liability and are also more likely to have someone on staff who is technically savvy.


The survey specifically cites sites (I just had to put those two words side-by-side) like Facebook, LinkedIn, LawLink and Legal OnRamp.  I would differentiate between business-related networks (e.g. LinkedIn) and personal ones that are used for business (i.e. Facebook) because I think it's a major distinction – but the survey apparently doesn't.

Overall, 12% said they maintain a presence in this area, but one thing is clear – generally speaking, the larger the firm, the less likely that it maintains a presence.


Oh boy.  If you've been following this blog, you know my attitude about attorneys and social networks. This statistic is of more interest to me.  43% reported that they maintain a personal presence in one of these communities.

Are you listening, employers?