Features

Web 2.0 Still a No-go

Lawyers slow to adopt cutting-edge technology

Posted Sep 1, 2008 8:05 AM CDT
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If you think an RSS feed is something that cattle munch on, you’re not alone. For all the hype—at conferences, on the Internet, and in this publication and others—about how Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way lawyers practice, the bulk of the profession is only now on the verge of beginning to use those tools in their daily professional lives, according to the ABA’s annual Legal Technology Survey Report.

The survey, based on responses from approximately 850 lawyers nationwide, shows that websites and e-mail newsletters are still the digital way that most at­torneys stay current with the news. A small minority reports reading blogs; but actually creating a blog is something the geeky lawyer down the hall—or, more likely, across town—is into.

RSS feeds—a technology that displays headlines from many sites on a single webpage, which greatly speeds the consumption of information—are not used by most attorneys. Social networks are only just now catching on. Podcasts and online videos are mostly for the kids—theirs or the ones they hire as first-year associates.

If the history of technology in the legal profession is any guide, most lawyers will eventually understand the utility of today’s latest technology as well as any of today’s college students do. And they’ll come to that understanding about the same time as those college students make partner.

The one area where lawyers really do appear to be on the cutting edge is mobile devices. Smartphones and BlackBerrys have become an electronic umbilical cord connecting lawyers to their offices and clients, with younger lawyers and those at the largest firms leading the way.

But if you’re reading this story on your tiny mobile screen, may we suggest you make the effort to find a copy of the magazine; the charts look much better when rendered on that most old-fashioned of technologies: paper.

Chart by Jeff Dionise

Chart by Jeff Dionise

Chart by Jeff Dionise

Chart by Jeff Dionise

Web extra:

2008 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report (Combined Volumes I-VI)

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