I'm always interested in data that reveals the number of lawyers using iPhones and iPads, and there is new, interesting data from TechnoLawyer. TechnoLawyer was created by New York attorney Neil Squillante, and the company publishes a number of free newsletters distributed by email to lawyers and other legal professionals such as LitigationWorld, BigLaw, SmallLaw, BlawgWorld and Fat Friday. I've written lots of articles for various TechnoLawyer publications over the years, and if you don't already subscribe to one or more of the newsletters, you are missing out on some good stuff. Although the newsletters are free, you need to complete a short survey to subscribe. As a result, TechnoLawyer has current data on over 14,000 subscribers, almost 9,000 of which are attorneys. TechnoLawyer used that data to release its first Demographics Report last week, which you can download here.
Before discussing the results, let's consider the survey respondents. My understanding is that there are over a million attorneys in the U.S., so even if all of the almost 9,000 TechnoLawyer lawyers were U.S. attorneys, this would still be less than 1% of all U.S. attorneys responding to the survey. (In actuality, 88% of the TechnoLawyer survey respondents work in the U.S.; another 5% work in Canada.) Nevertheless, as statistics go, around 9,000 is a pretty good sample size — especially considering that there is 100% participation because all readers have to complete the survey. For example, every year the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center conducts a survey to gauge the use of legal technology by attorneys in the United States, and while the 2014 numbers are not out yet, the 2013 survey results that I reported on last year were based on 918 completed questionnaires out of 12,500 survey invitations sent out by email.
Moreover, attorneys who are interested enough in technology to subscribe to one or more TechnoLawyer email newsletters are surely more technologically capable than the typical lawyer. That doesn't mean that every TechnoLawyer reader is a tech expert, and indeed I know that is not the case. Nevertheless, I think it is fair to say that the average TechnoLawyer reader is at least tech-curious and is most likely reasonably tech-savvy.
The report itself characterizes the respondents as legal technology "decision-makers and influencers," and that seems fair. Two-thirds of survey respondents serve on their law firm's technology committee, and over four-fifths of survey respondents recommend, make or approve tech purchases at their law firms. You can get lots more information on the respondent population in the report.
(One interesting data point not in the report: Squillante tells me that 97% of the respondents use Windows and 30% use a Mac — which adds up to more than 100% because some attorneys use both. It is no surprise that some attorneys use both; I myself use a PC at work and a Mac at home. But that 30% number for Mac users was higher than I would have expected.)
Overall, I view the TechnoLawyer survey as giving us information on the tech preferences of a population of tech-savvy lawyers. If you are interested in legal technology, this is a good population to study as these are likely to be the trendsetters in the industry.
68% of lawyers use an iPhone
The TechnoLawyer Report states that 50.3% of respondents use an iPhone, 29.4% use an Android smartphone and 14.3% use a BlackBerry. However, just over a third of TechnoLawyer subscribers are not attorneys; they include technology consultants, law firm IT managers, paralegals, etc. Thus, I asked Squillante if he would provide me attorney-specific information that I could share with iPhone J.D. readers and he was kind enough to break down the numbers for me.
The results for attorneys are: 68% iPhone, 37% Android, 13% BlackBerry, 4% Windows Phone, 2% other smartphone, and 5% don't report using a smartphone at all. This adds up to over 100% because some attorneys have multiple devices, such as a work phone and a personal phone.
These numbers are largely consistent with the other data out there on lawyer smartphone use, except that iPhone and Android use is larger. For example, in the ABA 2013 report that I reported on last year, the percentages were 62% iPhone, 22% Android, 16% BlackBerry, and about 1% Windows Mobile. When the ABA releases its 2014 survey, I suspect that BlackBerry numbers will be lower than the prior year the other categories will be higher. In the Clio survey that I reported on in February of 2014, the percentages were 75% iPhone, 18% Android, and very few BlackBerry or Windows Mobile, but keep in mind that the Clio survey reflects mostly Mac users, who one would suspect to be more likely to use an iPhone.
63% of lawyers use an iPad
The TechnoLawyer Report states that 51.1% of respondents use an iPad, and 14.5% use some other tablet. Once again, Squillante provided me the lawyer-specific percentages, which do not appear in the published report. 63% of lawyers use an iPad and 17% of lawyers use some other tablet. 7% of lawyers use both an iPad and some other tablet (i.e. 57% use only an iPad and 10% use only another tablet). That leaves 26% of respondents who do not (yet) use a tablet.
These numbers were somewhat surprising to me in that there was far more tablet use than I would have expected — 74% of all attorneys. This may be a result of TechnoLawyer readers being more tech-savvy. For example, in the 2013 ABA survey, only 48% of all attorneys reported using a tablet. When the ABA's 2014 numbers come out, I'm sure we will see even more than 48% of attorneys using a tablet this year, but I'd be surprised if it is was up to 74%.
As for the percentage of tablet-using lawyers who use an iPad, the numbers are essentially consistent with what we have seen before. Of the 74% of TechnoLawyer attorneys who use a tablet, 86% use an iPad. In the last three years of the ABA survey, roughtly 9 out of 10 tablet-using attorneys report that they use an iPad.
It was interesting to learn that 7% of lawyers report using both an iPad and some other tablet operating system. It is unclear whether that means an Android, a Windows tablet, or perhaps even some sort of Kindle tablet. I can see using both a work-issued smartphone and a personal smartphone, and I can even see using multiple iPads (perhaps a full-size iPad and an iPad mini), but I was surprised to see that as many as 7% use two different tablet operating systems. If any of you reading this fall into that category, I'd love to hear why you use two different tablets with two different operating systems.
A big market
The numbers in this 2014 TechnoLawyer survey are interesting enough on their own. However, Squillante tells me that he plans to release reports like this annually, and it will be especially interesting to see how these numbers change over time. We have gotten to the point where almost all attorneys use a smartphone, but I suspect that the number of attorneys using tablets like the iPad is still on the rise.
One thing that is clear in both the TechnoLawyer survey and every other survey that I see: a huge number of attorneys are using iPhones an iPads. For any company in the field of legal technology, this should be a huge incentive to create iOS apps, either as stand-alone apps or as apps that work in connection with the other products sold by the company. And as more law-related iOS apps are released, iPhones and iPads become even more valuable for attorneys.