The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) is a peer networking organization for people who work in the legal technology field, such as the people who work in law firm IT departments. I know that the folks in my law firm's tech department frequently take advantage of ILTA resources when seeking advice on selecting and working with hardware and software designed for the legal market and when recruiting new hires. A few months ago, I reported on the ILTA 2013 Annual Technology Purchasing Survey, and while that survey about what law firms buy was interesting, there is a limit to how much it tells you about the iPad and iPhone because so many attorneys purchase those devices themselves.
ILTA recently released the results of ILTA's 2013 Technology Survey, which is based on the input of 494 law firms composed of more than 88,000 attorneys. This comprehensive survey reveals a lot about the technology being used by lawyers. Obviously, I was most interested in the part of the survey that discusses mobile devices.
The survey revealed that 89% of law firms have attorneys using iPads, 39% of law firms have attorneys using an Android tablet, 29% have attorneys using a Windows-based tablet, 9% have attorneys using a BlackBerry Playbook, and 8% report that none of their attorneys use a tablet. Even though 8% is not a large number, it is higher than I would have expected. As for the 89% of law firms that report iPad use at their law firms, that is an increase from previous years: 88% in 2012, and 74% in 2011.
When asked to estimate the percentage of attorneys that use tablets such as iPads, the average response was 37%. These results are somewhat smaller than the numbers in the 2013 Legal Technology Survey conducted by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, a survey that asks questions directly to attorneys as opposed to the ILTA survey that asks questions to IT departments. As I noted a few months ago, the ABA survey revealed that almost half of all attorneys now use a tablet, and over 90% of those using a tablet use an iPad.
The ILTA survey did not ask which percentage of attorneys use an iPhone. Instead, the survey asked about platforms in use at law firms, such as the number of law firms that have attorneys using iOS, which includes both iPhones and iPads. The survey revealed that basically all law firms, 97%, have attorneys using iOS, whereas 74% of law firms have attorneys using an Android devices, 68% have attorneys using BlackBerry devices, and 35% have attorneys using some version of Windows Mobile or the newer Surface operating system.
About 80% of law firms report that they provide some sort of financial support for smartphones, which includes about 50% that purchase the hardware plus about 30% that provide a stipend or allowance towards the purchase of a smartphone. 44% of law firms reported that they have attorneys who bought their own smartphones and connected them to the firm's network.
About 80% of law firms report that they force their attorneys to use a passcode on the lock screen. One way to do this is to use Mobile Device Management (MDM) software, and 60% of law firms report that they do use MDM, with popular choices including Good Technology, MobilIron, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and Airwatch.
The ILTA survey asked law firms to indicate "to the best of your knowledge, which non-native tablet/iPad apps are most used at your firm for business purposes." I doubt that IT departments know all of the apps being used by their attorneys, but I'm sure that most do have some sense of the popular apps. The top 30 apps, identified by at least 5% of the law firms, were:
- Citrix Receiver
- Adobe Acrobat
- Documents to Go by DataViz
- Dragon Dictate
- Good Messaging Enterprise
- WorkSite Mobility
- VMWare View
For some reason, the survey specifically asked about time management apps. It's been a very long time since I took a comprehensive look at this category of apps because most attorneys tell me that they don't use them. Neither do I, but I've often thought that they might be helpful when traveling. Consistent with this, the ILTA survey reveals that 80% of law firms do not report any lawyers using time management apps. For those who do use these apps, the most popular ones mentioned are iTimeKeep by Bellefield Systems, and the DTE and Time Builder apps, both of which are now sold by Intapp.