ABA Survey: Lawyers And Legal Practice Management Software In 2020

For lawyers today, it’s always a challenge to stay on top of your law firm’s busy caseload. Managing partners have a lot to keep track of, including the status and progress of cases, billable hours for each lawyer, law firm profitability, client relationship management, and much, much more. Rest assured, managing a law firm in the 21st century is no small task, especially when you don’t have the right technology tools available in your firm.

Bogged down by your outdated law practice management software?

That’s where law practice management software comes in. This is because the software that your firms uses can make all the difference when it comes to streamlining a law firm’s processes and increasing productivity. In year’s past, premise-based legal software was costly and complex, but the good news is that things have changed – and you now have a better alternative: legal cloud computing software.

Cloud-based law practice management software is now commonplace and affordable – and it’s a vast improvement over the premise-based, clunky software of yesteryear. When your law firm is in the cloud, 24/7 convenient access to your law firm’s data is the norm. And if your firm is using the right software, you’ll be able to run in depth reports that provide an instantaneous snapshot of your law firm’s operations, allowing you to see what’s working – and what’s not.

In other words, modern legal software can make all the difference in your firm. That’s why so many law firms are planning to invest in technology in 2020, with law practice management spending coming in at the top of the list. But don’t take my word for it. Instead, check out some of the statistics from the latest ABA Legal Technology Survey for lots of insight into how lawyers will invest in technology, including law practice management software, in 2020.

Law firm technology spend in 2020

According to the results of the ABA Legal Technology Survey that was released earlier this month, technology spend is on the rise. The results showed that nearly half of law firms, 48%, had increased their budgets for technology from the previous year. Of the firms that did not plan to increase spend, 26% of their technology budgets stayed the same, while 2% decreased.

Lawyers reported that their firms planned to invest their technology spend on legal software in a variety of different ways. Many planned to invest in software to help manage their law firms, including software for practice management, document management, and time and billing. The average amount of money spent per year on law firm software was $9,329 per firm, with $4,000 being the median amount spent.

That being said, technology spend varied greatly, with 10% of responding lawyers reporting that their firms spent less than $500 on legal software in the past year. 8% reported spending $500-$999 annually, 16% reported spending $1,000-$2,999, 9% reported spending $3,000-$4,999, 9% percent reported spending $5,000-$9,999, 5% spent $10,000-$20,000, and 15% spent more than $20,000 each year.

Legal practice management software used by the majority of law firms

If your firm uses law practice management software, then you’re not alone. The majority of firms now make law practice management software available, and that percentage continues to increase each year. 53% now report that it is available in their firm, up from 51% in 2018, 50% in 2017, and 46% in 2016.

Large law firms with 100+ lawyers were the most likely to report the availability of legal practice management software at 67%. Next up were lawyers from firms of 1-49 lawyers at 60%, followed by lawyers from firms of 2-9 attorneys at 59%, and finally, solo lawyers at 35%.

Lawyers from firms with 2-9 lawyers were the most likely to report personally using practice management software for law-related tasks at 43%. Next up were lawyers from firms with 10-49 lawyers at 33%, followed by solo lawyers at 28%. Large firm lawyers were the least likely at 22%.

According to the Report, the role of a lawyer in a firm makes a difference when it comes to using practice management software. Managing partners were the most likely to report personally using software for law-related tasks at 51%. Next up were associates at 44%, partners at 30%, and solo practitioners at 29%.

How does your firm’s availability of law practice management software compare? How often do you use it in your day-to-day practice? How are you planning to incorporate it into your daily routine in 2020?

If you’re not sure or are interesting in learning more about why your firm should use legal practice management software to run your law firm more efficiently and profitably in 2020, make sure to download this FREE guide: “What Law Practice Management Software Can Do For Your Firm.”