Mobile isn’t a technology that’s coming—it’s arrived. Google’s mobile guru Tim Reis demonstrated this when he spelled out some compelling facts about the impact of mobile technology in a digital world:
- Mobile internet users will outpace desktop internet users this year
- By 2015 mobile transactions will reach $1 trillion (with a “T”)
- 50% of US mobile users have smart phones
Therefore we know that apps, iPads and the “cloud” have penetrated the mainstream. The question remains: is the legal industry catching up? There’s credible evidence to suggest it’s on its way.
In a post titled 2012: The year of the mobile lawyer?, law and technology resource site LLRX.com reported:
The Am Law Tech Survey 2012 compiled the responses of 83 Am Law 200 CIOs and technology chiefs regarding their law firms’ use of technology over the past year. The end result was clear – large law firms were no more capable of resisting the tidal wave of consumer-driven demand for cloud and mobile computing than any other industry.
Other indications can be found all around the legal industry – from publishing to technology providers. For example, Law Technology News (LTN) launched mobile news to provide coverage for readers this month.
Trade shows are going mobile – a mobile-friendly site is available for this week’s Legal Tech West trade show in Los Angeles. It’s reasonable to presume a substantial number of tweets published with the hashtag #LTWC are coming from a mobile device.
Finally, we are in the game too: LexisNexis launched a secure mobile solution for InterAction, a customer relationship management tool for large law. Why? We’re responding to what our customers are asking for – mobility and the ability to complete administrative tasks in the white space between billable hours.
This is feedback that’s increasingly common across the industry. In the aforementioned article, LTN pointed out its move into mobile was based on data that mirrors the macro-trends:
Fifty-five percent of ALM’s mobile traffic is from small law firms (under 50 employees), with 33 percent of the mobile traffic from large law firms. Litigators, who are often out of the office, make up the largest percentage of mobile readers on ALM’s websites, representing more than 45 percent of unique visitors.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the trend toward mobile technology in legal circles might be better described as cautiously optimistic. Firms, especially large law firms, are weighing through the technology policy considerations.
While the American Lawyer, citing the 2012 Am Law Tech Survey, reported about only about one-fifth of firms place restrictions on mobile apps, there are apps that raise red flags. A majority of respondents said their firms had banned certain services:
Close to two-thirds of firms prohibit lawyers from using cloud-based file storage and synchronization services like Dropbox on mobile devices, but another third allow them.
Security is an obvious issue given the often confidential nature of legal work – and if there’s anything holding up the tipping point for a mobile legal industry – it’s reassurance to lawyers that their confidentiality won’t be compromised.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
‘Tis More Noble To Be Mobile With A CRM So Global!