ABA reports on technology use by lawyers


The Legal Technology Resource Center of the ABA has released its 2017 survey of technology use in the legal profession.

Key findings include:

  • Over a third of firms with 10-49 lawyers report having experienced a security breach.
  • Almost 30% of respondents said they had a client retain their services directly or via referral because of their use of social networking sites for professional purposes.
  • 77% of lawyers regularly work from home, 33% while traveling, and 20% work from clients’ or opposing counsel’s office or from court.

There has also been a big jump in cloud usage as it becomes an accepted approach in the profession. Some form of cloud usage among respondents grew by over 40% from 37% to over 52% in 2017.

Cloud usage by lawyers 2017 chart over 3 years

The main benefits of cloud cited include easy access from anywhere, robust data back-up, low cost of entry and predictable monthly cost, 24/7 availability, and the ability to get new solutions up and running quickly.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 55% of trial lawyers use technology in the courtroom including 33% to access evidence and key documents, up from 28% in 2014.
  • 40% of small firms (2-9 lawyers) do not proactively budget for technology.
  • Roughly 30% of firms use blogging as a marketing technique; larger firms are more likely to have a blog.
  • LinkedIn usage by lawyers has dropped between recent surveys. In 2017, 72% of lawyers report using LinkedIn to maintain a social media presence, whereas in 2016 the reported usage was 85%.
  • 26% of respondents indicate they use or maintain a presence on Twitter.
  • Practice management software remains popular and is used by about 45% of small firms (2-9 lawyers), although this number may include using Outlook to track clients and tasks. Time Matters at 10% and Clio at 8% maintain high market share.

To learn more about the survey and how to obtain copies, visit The year in technology: ABA Techreport 2017.

How outdated technology is costing your law firm - ebook
New call-to-action