June 29, 2009
Technology Survey Results
In April and May, 2009, the Virginia State Bar Special Committee on Technology and the Law used an online survey to help assess how Virginia attorneys use technology in their practices.
Committee Chair Sharon K. Nelson reports that of the three hundred respondents:
- More than 80 percent were from solo and small firms.
- 99.7 percent have Internet access at work and 99.3 percent have access at home.
- 52.7 percent never access Virginia Lawyer and Virginia Lawyer Register online. 53.2 percent prefer to receive these publications in print, and 46.2 percent prefer to receive them electronically.
- 1.4 percent never access the VSB website. 33.6 percent access it often, and 61.7 percent access it occasionally.
- 35.9 percent use a desktop computer, 26.5 percent use a laptop, and 27.1 percent use both.
- 82.2 percent have Windows XP, 26.3 percent have Windows Vista, and 9.3 percent have a Mac OS
- 61.2 percent use Outlook, 15.9 percent use Outlook Express, and 20 percent use some form of Web-based e-mail.
- 10.7 percent use WordPerfect. 84.4 percent use Word.
- 57.4 percent do not use any case management software.
- 52.3 percent own a smart phone.
- 83.1 percent have no e-discovery review software.
- 25.4 percent use presentation software at trial.
- 43.3 percent prefer in-person continuing legal education programs and 44.7 percent prefer a combination of in-person and remote learning CLEs.
- 31 percent have no technology policies. Those most frequently adopted are for computer, Internet, and e-mail.
- 41 percent back up their files on an external hard drive.
- 21.7 percent of firms use software to monitor Internet and e-mail usage.
- 33.8 percent use encryption.
- 29.5 percent do not have a website.
- 5.8 percent have a blog.
- For their legal research, 53.7 percent use Fastcase, 32.1 percent use WestLaw, 42.3 percent use Lexis-Nexis, and 26 percent use FindLaw. Most respondents use at least two providers for legal research.
Michael T. McFarlane of Ashburn won twelve CLE credits from Virginia CLE as part of an online raffle for entering the contest.