Cloud computing has been around for more than a decade now. At first, law firms were slow to adopt to cloud-based legal software despite the fact that it offers a host of benefits, including 24/7 access to documents data, the convenience of entering billable time from any location using mobile devices, a secure way to communicate and collaborate with clients and others in a secure online environment, and easily managing calendar events and tasks from any internet-enabled device.
However, as technology changes, so, too, do the times.
This was readily apparent from the results of the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey report. According to the Report, the many benefits of cloud computing have finally convinced the majority of lawyers to make the move to web-based computing. This year’s survey shows that after remaining stagnant at ~30% from 2013-15, and then increasing to 38% in 2016, there was a marked increase in the number of lawyers using cloud computing in 2017. That percentage jumped to a whopping 52%!
Solo and small firm lawyers lead the way in cloud computing use according the 2017 Report. The survey results indicate that 56% of lawyers from firms of 2-9 attorneys used cloud computing (compared to 46% in 2016, 40% in 2015, and 35% in 2014), as did 56% of solo lawyers (compared to 42% in 2016, 37% in 2015, and 35% in 2014), 52% of lawyers from firms of 10-49 attorneys (compared with 33% in 2016, 23% in 2015, and 29% in 2014), and 42% from firms of 100 or more attorneys (compared with 20% in 2016, 17% in 2015, and 19% in 2014).
Solo and small firm lawyers are also the most likely to back up their law firm’s data in the cloud. 48% of solo attorneys reported using online backup as did 41% of small firm lawyers. And, 31% of lawyers overall backed up their law firm’s data to the cloud.
Some lawyers even reported that they had virtual law practices – which most defined as a law firm that lacked a brick and mortar office – although this number was fairly small. According to the survey results, 5%o of lawyers overall reported having a virtual law firm. Once again, solo and small firm lawyers led the way. 10% of solos had virtual practices in 2017, followed by 4% of small firm attorneys. The two most common practice areas reported for lawyers with virtual law firms were employment and labor law (7%) and contract and corporate law (6% each).
When asked why they chose to use cloud computing software in their law firms, the most popular responses were easy browser access (73%), 24/7 availability (64%), low cost of entry along with a predictable monthly expense (48%), robust data backup and recovery(45%), ability to quickly to get it up and running (39%), elimination of IT & software management requirements (30%), and better security than can be provided in-house (25%).
Lawyers were also asked to share which cloud computing programs they used in their firms. The 3 most popular non-legal cloud computing programs used by lawyers were Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Docs. And, we’re happy to report that one of the 3 most popular cloud-based legal software programs used by lawyers was MyCase!
The best place to learn more about why MyCase is so popular with lawyers is from our customers. Read on to find out why moving your law practice to the cloud and taking advantage of the many benefits of web-based law practice management software – like MyCase – makes sense for your law firm in 2017 and beyond.