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ILTA 2020 lawyer survey is in

Technology for Lawyers

Published: November 20, 2020

The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) may not be able to throw their big annual trade show convention, but that hasn’t kept the organization from continuing to keep tabs on trends in the industry.
Law.com posted a nice walk-through of a half dozen interesting findings. Here are some of those.
To state the obvious, remote work caused by the pandemic is entrenching itself in the industry. This means that data is now spread out on numerous remote devices, depending on the size of the firm and who is doing what. That makes data retention and security a real priority going forward, unless IT is following every personal remote email (not). Get your data retention policies in order! This has to go well past just documents to include email, social media, recorded videoconferences, chat logs, etc.
Email is not going away. When asked to rank the most helpful platforms for remote working, two-thirds responded email. The only higher response came for videoconferencing (and here, I refuse to make a Jeff Toobin joke. You are welcome). Third was chat platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc., although those are becoming very common, with almost 70 percent of respondents reporting that their firms used chat platforms.
While all firms are embracing technology at a greater rate (because they have to), many of them balk at the cost. This seems especially true of the smaller firms, which, ironically, are more likely to embrace new tech than the big firms.
Speaking of teleconferencing, Zoom is by far the most popular platform among attorneys surveyed, having tripled its lawyer user base since 2019. Microsoft Teams was second; WebEx was third.
Second to data security and retention are policies regarding data storage. Firms are almost evenly split on data storage, with a third using another physical disk and a third using the cloud. The other third? No backup? Well, you will deserve what you get when your temp clicks on the wrong link and suddenly you’re a ransomware victim.
The survey also seemed to show that the remote law office is far from what will be its final shape. As that office keeps evolving, the future of the legal business altogether will take some other shape. And we will be there to report on it.