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Today's lawyers may not be any happier than their predecessors, but they're certainly more mobile, as the recent results of the 2006 ABA Technology Survey bear out. In this article on the survey, Lawyers More Mobile but Stuck on Basics on Technology (9/27/06), Laura Ikens summarizes some of the survey's findings. Among other things, laptop use has grown universal, with 71 percent of solos reporting that they have laptops and over 90 percent of lawyers at firms of 50 attorneys or more. Likewise, virtually all attorneys have Internet access away from the office, though 19 percent still use dial-up service from home. PDAs and Smartphones are prevalent, though portable printers and scanners are not popular, nor is software that allows remote access to office computers (my guess is that the increased use of laptops means that lawyers simply carry work back and forth instead of accessing it from their office machine). And while many attorneys are using PDAs and BlackBerrys, it's typically for communcation rather than for spreadsheets, legal research or document creation.

Finally -- and not surprisingly -- the courtroom is the last place to be touched by technology. Sixty-four percent of attorneys do not use laptops in court; those who do use them for presentations, litigation support and online research.

In the past year, growth in use of mobile devices has been only incremental. 'd be interested in seeing statistics not on differences between large firm and small firm usage but, rather, generational differences. Are younger attorneys the ones who are driving the trend towards mobility? If so, I expect that within another generation or two, we can expect to see more of the profession "mobilized."

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 28, 2006 at 04:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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