LinkedIn is the favorite online social platform for lawyers, with close to 70 percent of practitioners using the site.
Only 25 percent have a Facebook page, and less than 15 percent use Martindale for professional networking.
And a whopping 42 percent of firms that have a blog site say it has led directly to new clients or referrals.
These are some of the findings from a 2016 tech survey just released by the American Bar Association Legal Technology Resource Center. The report, available for a fee here, surveyed lawyers in private practice on trends in hardware, software, mobile, e-discovery, social media and online research.
One finding comes as no surprise: large firms devote a larger share of their budgets to technology – and more time on maintaining a robust online presence – than solos and small firms.
Websites and Online Content
Almost all firms large and small have a website, even if it is just a bare-bones site that has the firm’s location and contact information.
But blogs seem to be the province of larger firms. Sixty percent of firms with 500 or more attorneys publish their own blog sites, compared to only 12 percent of solos.
As for coming up with content for blogs and websites, large firms tend to use in-house marketing staffs, while small firms either rely on their own attorneys or hire outside consultants.
And large firms conduct more business online. Many of those with 50 or more attorneys offer their clients an online interactive portal through SharePoint or similar platforms, according to Thomson Reuters. Only 10 percent of solos offer such a service.
When it comes to social media, most firms that are on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter said they rarely, if ever, get new business directly from it.
Data Security and Hacking Prevention
Cyber-security is on everybody’s mind, but it seems only large firms have comprehensive defense systems in place.
Almost all the respondents used spam filters, anti-spyware and firewalls, the survey found. But only firms with more than 10 attorneys had employee monitoring and file access restrictions.
Up to half of large firms said at least one client had asked them to complete a security questionnaire or data safety audit in the past year. Almost no solos or small firms had faced similar scrutiny.
Tech Budgeting and Training
Eighty percent of large firms budget specifically for technology, according to the report. But only one in three solos does so.
Large firms are more likely to take advantage of technology training opportunities such as webinars or live classes taught by vendors, manufacturers or in-house staff. Live instruction – regardless of who does the teaching – was the most effective training method.
Forty-one percent of all respondents expressed a need for more training on courtroom technologies like transcription tools and evidence presentation units, according to the survey.
What technology topics are on your mind? What works or doesn’t work for you?
- American Bar Association Legal Technology Resource Center http://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_offices/legal_technology_resources.html
- Thomson Reuters http://blog.legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com/current-awareness-2/lawyers-seek-more-tech-training-aba-survey-finds/