For much of the 20th century, law offices looked the same. There were large, ostentatious reception areas, a few conference rooms, offices for lawyers, law libraries, and areas set aside for administrative assistants and paralegals. Lawyers worked in their offices, stored files in filing cabinets, conducted research in a book-filled law library, and met with clients in their offices or the firm’s conference rooms.
Web-based computing changed everything. Lawyers are no longer confined to their law firms and can practice law 24/7 from just about anywhere using web-based software. Digitized law firm documents can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device, allowing lawyers to meet with clients at any location. The convenience and flexibility offered by 21st century cloud computing software has revolutionized the way that lawyers practice law and run their law practices.
This trend was confirmed by the latest ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, which found that lawyers are increasingly using web-based software in their law practices. Tellingly, 72% of solo and small firm lawyers now have online document storage available in their law offices.
Why are so many lawyers using web-based software? The reasons are many. The ease of access to law firm data resonated with the majority of lawyers surveyed, with 67% of solos and 78% of small firm lawyers citing this as an important benefit. 24/7 availability ranked high with 72% of solos and 67% of small firm attorneys. Affordability was important for 68% of solos and 65% of small firm lawyers.
Security was also an important factor, with 53% of solos and 47% of small firms lawyers valuing cloud computing’s robust data backup and recovery features. Finally, reduced IT costs were cited as a benefit for 44% of solos and 53% of small firms.
Online collaboration is another feature of web-based computing that lawyers are embracing, with 21% of lawyers using web-based portals to streamline their firm’s communication and collaboration And, according to the report, of the solo lawyers who reported using client portals in their practice, nearly 1/3 used MyCase and our built-in client portal, as their law practice management software.
You can learn more interesting statistics about how lawyers will use web-based law practice management software in 2015 from our infographic below. (As always, we encourage you to share and blog about our infographics and slideshows. You can grab an embed of this slideshow from Slideshare here).