Every year, the American Lawyer ranks the top 200 law firms based on revenue, a list called the Am Law 200. Firms on the list include megafirms with thousands of lawyers such as Skadden, Baker & McKenzie, Latham & Watkins and Jones Day, relatively smaller firms with very high profits per partner such as Wachtell and Cravath, and successful regional law firms such as Lewis and Roca and my firm, Adams and Reese.
The American Lawyer conducts a technology survey of those firms every year. In the 2008 survey, only 5% of the firms reported having attorneys using an iPhone. In 2009, that number jumped to 55%, leading me to report (back when iPhone J.D. was not even one year old yet) that "Over half of the most profitable law firms use iPhones." In 2010, that number rose to 77%. This year's results came out this week, and the new number is ... drum-roll please! ... 96%! In other words, virtually every one of the most profitable law firms in the United States now lets their attorneys use iPhones. Alan Cohen of The American Lawyer explains:
For yet another year, 100 percent of the firms surveyed support BlackBerry devices. But that number is starting to warrant a Roger Maris–like asterisk, as the number of lawyers actually using BlackBerrys continues to slide. An eye-popping 96 percent of survey respondents report users on iOS, the platform that powers both Apple's iPhone and its iPad. That's up from 77 percent in 2010. And 67 percent of firms count Android users among their ranks, up from 43 percent last year.
I think it is now safe to say that if you are an attorney and you want to use an iPhone, your firm should let you do so.
Profitable law firms love iPads too
This year's survey also includes some information on iPads. Only 7% of the surveyed law firms provide tablets to their attorneys, but 99% support the iPad, versus 25% for Android tablets and 10% for the BlackBerry tablet.