Sluggish Tech Adoption Continues in Legal: Only 37% of Lawyers are Satisfied with their Firm’s Technology


The Point

The last few years witnessed headlines announcing a legal technology investment boom (here, here, and here).

But — for all the publicity on the investor side — actual technology adoption among law firms remains slow.

This Matters to Your Business

A survey of 560 law firm attorneys taken in May 2022 for Dashboard Legal asked them: “Are you satisfied with the technology at your firm?”

Only 37% answered “yes”.

“High-level the results show that:

  1. Lawyers are generally dissatisfied with their tech stack … but also believe their firm is in line with peer firms’ level of innovation.
  2. Lawyers ranked (a) preventing missed deadlines, (b) automation of repeatable tasks, and (c) improving their skillset as highly impactful and unaddressed technology needs.
  3. … Where attorneys are generally ambivalent about their existing tools, they feel strongly about the potential of technology to address certain workflow needs.”

Because …

Artificial Lawyer explains it this way:

” … Despite tons of tech tools in the market, many firms were just sticking with whatever they had at hand and are not really pushing for newer products that might help to reduce process work via automation of certain tasks. (And it’s worth noting that around 45% of the firms involved were over 500 lawyers – so not tiny shops that could not afford new tech.)

“Interestingly, when asked their views about contract automation tools at their firms, around 60% said ‘they don’t have any’, while for collaboration software 35% said they didn’t use any.

That shows that even though doc automation is one of the most developed legal tech tools in the market – and with literally dozens of providers – a majority of the sample didn’t even have it, or if they had it hidden away in their tech stack they were not being asked to use it and so were not aware of its existence at the firm.”

Incentives created by law firms’ prevailing billable hour business model force a zero-sum choice: Maximize income by taking more time to do the work — versus adopting operational efficiencies that will save time — thereby reducing hours to be billed.

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