Spot Survey: Less than Half of Lawyers Use their CRM Systems

A majority of law firms are not using their commercial CRM (client relationship management) effectively, according to an on-the-spot survey that LexisNexis conducted at the recent 2010 International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference. In fact, six in ten survey respondents (60%) say that less than half of their firm’s lawyers are “active” users of their firm’s CRM system.

This might be due to the fact that many lawyers find current systems in place are too difficult and time consuming, according to the survey.  Seven in ten survey respondents (70%) agree that many lawyers in their firm are reluctant to use their CRM system because they believe doing so is too difficult. In fact, nearly a quarter of attendees (23%) strongly agree with this statement.


The majority of survey respondents (80%) agree that many lawyers in their firm are reluctant to use their CRM system because they believe doing so will take too much of their time. One third of survey respondents (34%) strongly agree with this statement.


"One possible solution could be tighter integrating between CRM systems and email applications lawyers use every day, because the majority of survey respondents feel this would increase CRM usage among their firm’s lawyers and enable lawyers to access and share firm-wide information to help them stay 'in the know,'" said Marc Osborn, Senior Director of Communications for LexisNexis..



Nearly all survey respondents (94%) say that integrating specialized CRM capabilities directly within the e-mail and contact management application lawyers in their firm use every day – such as Microsoft Outlook – would enable their firm to capture more useful CRM data and leverage that data in a better way.


In fact, the majority of respondents (89%) admit they think lawyers at their firm could avoid potentially embarrassing gaps in their knowledge about clients if they were able to more easily share information and updates about contacts between themselves.


The survey respondents are mostly from large firms and operate in a technology-related role. Two-thirds of survey respondents (66%) report that there are over 200 lawyers in their firm. Most respondents surveyed describe their role with their law firm as “Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer/IT Director” (31%) or “other information technology professional” (33%).


The online study was conducted via iPads in August 2010 during the ILTA conference in Las Vegas. Only participants whose firm currently uses a commercial CRM system were included in the study.  The survey findings include the 80 qualified respondents who completed the survey.

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Carlyn Kelley - September 14, 2010 8:57 AM

Interesting data. I hope the CRM companies get wind of the thoughts on what the respondents think they could do to increase usage and do some extended research because they can be great tools!

Samantha Collier - September 16, 2010 8:08 AM

I would be interested to see what other intellectual property law firms use for their firms in regards to CRM as there's more to track than just CRM - reciprocity, etc.

Nancy Myrland - September 16, 2010 8:23 AM

This is interesting because the main CRM products offered in the legal space do have an Outlook interface. Sharing of client information is a fear many attorneys have...if I input their information, someone else might contact, forgetting they can opt to keep contacts private if they choose. I'm not suggesting they do this as it limits the capabilities of what a CRM system can do. There are also fear, training and apathy challenges with these services. I'm afraid of it, so I won't use. I don't know how to use it, so I won't. I don't care about it, so I'm not going to use it.

LegalTrack Case Management Software - December 9, 2011 12:29 AM


I fully agree with the author. Our company offer a case management software on a Microsoft CRM platform. Built inside outlook of course. With regarding to sharing of information, the application has many levels of security and you can share the client or not - depends on the permissions setup by default.

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