ABA Legal Technology: The Cloud is Here to Stay

In 2011, we blogged about the rise of cloud computing at ABA TECHSHOW. The results of the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report demonstrate that cloud-based applications like Google Docs, Clio and Dropbox are driving cloud adoption, and with each passing year, the “long tail” of legal cloud computing companies continues to grow.

The adoption of cloud-based technologies saw a massive 10% jump, as Bob Ambrogi points out. While the survey shows most law firms employing cloud computing technology are solo and small firms with a user adoption of 40 percent, medium and larger firms are using cloud computing as well: 36 percent use the cloud at firms of 2-9 members, followed by 30 percent at firms of 10-49 attorneys. Firms of 100 or more attorneys clock in at 19 percent. We can see a “bubbling up” of cloud computing to larger and larger firms over time.

That begs the question: what cloud computing technology is used the most? In a word: Dropbox. Not surprising considering it is used in most conference presentations on practice management software. Many lawyers use Dropbox for personal use to help keep household documents organized, share and collaborate on committees and the like. Extending its use to the law firm almost seems natural. What is interesting, though, are the other four responses that make up the top five:

  • Google Docs (now Google Drive)
  • iCloud
  • Evernote
  • Clio

You’ll notice the first three are “mass market” applications used by consumers and businesses of all stripes. Clio is the only legal-focused cloud-based application to crack the top five.

To see Clio listed in the top five illustrates that the legal industry has accepted cloud-based practice management not just among early adopters, but among the “mainstream” lawyers as well. This movement has no doubt been catalyzed by the volume of ethics opinions have come out in favour of cloud-based practice management, and we like the think the fact that cloud-based practice management systems like Clio have proven to help lawyers be more efficient in time tracking, billing, communication, document management and overall case or matter management has helped drive massmarket adoption.

As the ABA Technology Survey results show, time tracking and billing are the top core functionalities lawyers look for in any practice management system. Cloud-based systems such as Clio provide anywhere, anytime access, the top benefit cited by lawyers employing cloud computing technologies.

It is that “anytime, anywhere” accessibility that continues to drive the tremendous adoption Clio has seen in the legal community.

The Legal Technology Survey Report is not limited to just law office technology. It is a comprehensive survey broken down into six volumes that cover all aspects of law firms and technology:

Each volume is available for purchase: $350 for non-ABA members, or $300 for ABA members.

Categorized in: Clio

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