14% of Lawyers Operate a Virtual Law Firm

ABA 2010 Legal Tech ReportWhen asked whether they have a virtual law office/virtual law practice (i.e., do not typically meet with clients in person, and primarily interact with clients using Internet-based software and other electronic communications software), 14% percent of lawyers surveyed responded affirmatively, according to the new 2010 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report Update.

Of counsel and solo respondents were most likely to report having a virtual law office/virtual law practice (27% and 19% respectively).

• When asked whether they personally maintain a presence in an online community/social network such as Facebook, LinkedIn, LawLink, or Legal OnRamp, overall, 56% of respondents answered affirmatively, compared with 43% in the 2009 survey and 15% in the 2008 survey.

• Far from being a time waster, nascent efforts at social networking are yielding fruit. Ten percent of respondents report that they have had a client retain their legal services as a result of use of online communities/social networking.

Technology has even invaded the courtroom:

 • The percentage of respondents who report using PDAs/smartphones/BlackBerrys in the courtroom has increased in the 2010 survey to 71% from 60% in the 2009 survey.

• Respondents report using their PDAs/smartphones/ BlackBerrys in the courtroom to check for new e-mail (64%, compared with 52% in the 2009 survey), followed by sending e-mail (60%, compared with 49% in the 2009 survey), and calendaring (46%, compared with 39% in the 2009 survey).

The 2010 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report is presented serially in downloadable PDF format as six separate volumes for $350.

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