The Modern Lawyer Report from Above the Law and Litera

How Technology, Mobile Devices, and AI Are Shaping the Legal Industry in 2022

In February of 2022, Above the Law interviewed 500 attorneys on their views on technology, mobile devices, artificial intelligence (AI), and more. Of those 500, Associates made up 32%, Partners were 26%, and in-house counsel were over 12%. Above the Law and Litera have published their findings in The Modern Lawyer Report.

Over 58% over these lawyers consider themselves to be slightly ahead of the curve or a trendsetter in terms of use of technology. The lawyers who agreed to participate in this technology survey appear to be more tech-savvy than the general lawyer population.

Above the Law / Litera

Mobile Device Usage

Roughly 57% of attorneys reported that they can do “many things” or “everything” on mobile devices. From our vantage point this seems high, but consider the point above, that the majority of the attorneys who responded self-report that they are ahead of the curve in using technology. From our view of law firms, the third option, “I can follow email on mobile but that’s about it,” is the the common state of the art in law firms today.

Above the Law / Litera

Document review and approval is certainly the greatest need which attorneys and legal professionals have on mobile devices. Our clients tell us that the ability to review, annotate, compare, sign, and email documents in order to have complete workflows is their goal.

Above the Law / Litera

What is delaying mobile device adoption?

The report cities, “One partner stated, “My vision is too poor to work on such small screens,” while an in-house respondent noted that “security risks preclude the ethical use of mobile for most legal tasks.”

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence or AI is a somewhat amorphous term, granted. Over 60% of these advanced technology users consider AI to be valuable to business success in legal services.

Above the Law / Litera

One of the conclusions of The Modern Lawyer Report is that, especially with respect to mobile devices and artificial intelligence, lawyers are not taking advantage of technology’s full capabilities. There is plenty of opportunity for them to adopt these technologies further.

Note, I would normally provide a link to “The Modern Lawyer Report.” However, I cannot locate a public link. I was sent a copy in follow-up to this webinar which I attended. Check with your Litera contact for a copy.

If you have questions or comments, I’d like to hear from you. Write to: contact at mobilehelix dot com

-Maureen

Maureen Blando is the President and COO of Mobile Helix, the makers of the LINK encrypted app for lawyers. LINK provides simple workflows for Document Management and Email in a single, secure app. Note: the LINK App offers font sizes up to XXL. (See above. for relevance.)

Meet LINK: The Easy Way To Handle All Your Document Workflows On Your Mobile Device In A Single App

By Stephanie Wilkins

From Above the Law, a new product profile on our LINK app.

Here’s an excerpt:

Do Everything, Everywhere With LINK

When you think about the tools you use most in your day-to-day work, your document management system (DMS) and Outlook are probably at the top of the list. Working in both on your mobile device, though, has historically been a huge struggle, if not impossible. LINK brings them together in a single, secure, easy-to-use app.

LINK is designed to support the workflows attorneys use all day, every day. The app works with today’s most popular mobile devices – iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets – and supports the three leading document management systems, iManage Work®, NetDocuments, and eDocs by OpenText.

LINK for Smartphones and Tablets

LINK is solving the pervasive problem of lawyers being unable to adequately work on their mobile devices. With LINK, lawyers can fully access their documents, compare them, mark them up, edit them, email them, and more, as easily and securely as they can on a computer.

Read the full profile here.

Questions? Write to us at: contact at mobilehelix dot com.

-Maureen

The LINK App for Android is here!

Yes! LINK is in production for Android smartphones and tablets.

Now you can use LINK’s workflows including annotation, comparison, and Word app editing with Manage Work® 10 on Android. NetDocuments and eDocs are supported, too! LINK is an encrypted container app therefore your files are separate from device access.

It looks fantastic, if I do say so myself. 🤩

Take a look at this brief video to see the LINK App’s easy workflows with DMS, Outlook, and web resources.🔽

LINK App for Android Video – 3 minutes

Let me know if you want to see a demo or to do a trial including Android, iOS, and iPadOS

-Maureen write to: contact at mobilehelix dot com

What is the LINK App? Find out in 112 seconds.

In this short video, view the major features of our encrypted LINK app.

LINK is integrated with iManage, NetDocuments, and eDocs DMS as well as Outlook and SharePoint. LINK enables essential workflows in a single app. Review, annotate, compare, and email files. Edit securely with the Word App.

Want to learn more? Email us at: contact at mobilehelix dot com.

-Maureen

Don’t Miss: Thomson Reuters 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market

It was this time last year when began to learn how profitable law firms had been in the first year of the pandemic. That profitability cast a completely different light on the historical law firm pressure to work long hours in the office.

Therefore, I looked forward to this year’s Thomson Reuters report. There are many terrific charts in the report. Below I’ll highlight three charts, mainly to encourage you to read the entire report. You can find the report here.

Profit Per Equity Partner Growth

This could be called “The Money Chart” in the legal market, growth in Profit Per Equity Partner (PPEP). Growth in 2021 was quite healthy, even compared to the robust growth in 2020. Mid-sized firms lead with 22.4% rolling 12-month growth.

Lawyer Turnover Analysis

The strong demand in legal services lead to the high turnover rate, especially amongst associates. The associate turnover rate for all firms reached 23.2% across all firms. For Am Law 100 firms the turnover rate hit 23.7%. See the report for a chart which breaks this out by firm size.

Associate Compensation Growth

For Big Law firms “facing the retention crisis,” there was nowhere to go but up. Associate compensation rose by over 15% in the Am Law 100.

There is so much more in this report, including:

  • Lawyer head count growth
  • Hours worked per lawyer
  • Expense growth and overhead detail (recruiting, staff compensation, KM, and technology lead)
  • Demand growth by practice

The report navigates “managing the way back” and lists specific, actionable recommendations. A new, essential approach for law firms: “flexibility.”

I encourage you to download the “Thomson Reuters Institute and Georgetown University Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession: 2022 State of the Legal Market Report.

In case you are wondering, I am not associated with either entity. I like data and thought that many of you would find this data interesting, too.

-Maureen

Okta 2022 Businesses at Work Report

The 8th annual Okta Businesses at Work report is a treasure trove of data. It’s fantastic that Okta shares this data. Moreover, the report is very visual, full of graphs and charts. Here are four which illustrate enterprise web application usage in 2022.

While the gap between Microsoft 365 and the rest of the pack widens, Google Workspace moves into third place.

Of Okta’s customers who use Microsoft 365, what are the most popular “best-of-breed” apps which those customers also use? One of the stories here is growing use of Google Workspace. Zoom is still growing. Reminder: this is only a picture of Okta’s customers.

Phenomenal growth by these up-and-comers, although you may not be familiar with a few of these applications. Netskope provides cloud-native security products and services. Notion is for collaboration. TripActions covers travel, credit card, and expense. Postman is a platform for building and using APIs.

You can see the steep growth in remote work here. Amongst Okta users, Palo Alto Networks Global Protect and Cisco AnyConnect are the leaders in remote access.

There is much more:

  • Popular applications by region and sector
  • HR and Workplace management applications
  • Security apps, including Okta Verify
  • Developer apps

I hope that you discovered something new.

You can download the report here.

-Maureen

Good Read: “Can Legal Tech Reduce Lawyer Burn Out?”

Author: Artificial Lawyer

Link to the article

The notion that legal tech can reduce burn out is a huge proposition. But a very interesting topic.

I recommend this article because this question is answered by seven current or former law firm employees, from former partners to firm innovation leaders. I always like to hear from the source. 🙂

Dig into this article for more on these topics:

  • “constant and unrelenting pressure to bill more hours”
  • “the real issue of burnout is a bigger question about culture”
  • “Legal tech can be a part of the solution but it only goes so far.”

“Legal tech” is not the panacea for lawyer burnout. However, I think all of us in the legal ecosystem want legal technology solutions to make work easier for attorneys. We want to enable attorneys to get more or work done in less time. We want to reduce and simplify repetitive and tedious work. Software solutions have a major role to play.

Read more on “Can Legal Tech Reduce Lawyer Burn Out?”

Maureen

A “Good Read” post is a brief pointer to an article worth a deeper reading.

Good Read: “Virtual law firm FisherBroyles gets real”

By Jenna Greene in Reuters

Link to article

FisherBroyles is a 283 attorneys law firm whose attorneys and staff are “distributed” or remote, a model which is increasingly attractive to attorneys. In their model, attorneys take home 80% of what they bill. In traditional law firms, the take home is often closer to 33%. In 2021, FisherBroyles top-paid attorney took home $6,742,540.

Managing partner, Michael Pierson, says that their hourly rates are often two-thirds what a traditional law firm would charge as there is no real estate cost.

It’s definitely working for the firm. In 2021, FisherBroyers revenue was up 30% to $136 versus $105 million in 2020.

Read more at the link, including about two of FisherBroyles major engagements in 2021.

-Maureen

2021. It’s not farewell. Ransomware, Unicorns, Profits, and Work from Home

While we may be happy to wave au revoir to 2021, one midnight does not change world circumstances. I think that the following four trends that are not likely to go away in 2022.

  1. Our most popular blog post in 2021, by a factor of 10, was this post by our CEO, Seth Hallem, on the REvil vulnerability and the ensuing ransomware. Many IT and security people were kept busy over the July 4th weekend with the Kaseya VSA exploit. More law firms and more businesses overall were hit with ransomware than the public is aware of. At the risk of stating the obvious, this will only grow going forward.
  2. Unicorns, IPOs, M & A, and healthy funding rounds were undefeated by the pandemic. We covered the capital infusion in #legaltech here.
  3. Early in 2021, we learned from Thomson Reuters that Big and Mid sized Law had been very profitable in pandemic burdened 2020. Work from home meant more billable hours. Legal IT departments got attorney up and running from home in quite literally a weekend. In early 2021 the question was, would work from home end as quickly as it had begun? The profits lead one to conclude that it would not. The Delta and Omicron variants in 2021 ensured no quick ending.
  4. Finally, in the fall of 2021 companies such as Apple and Big Law firms were gearing up for early January or February 2022 “return to the office” dates. Then Omicron swept through the globe. Now all bets are off for when, and if, companies will return to the office.

Some good, some not so good. Overall, we can be grateful for the healthy demand for legal services and that so much of legal work can be done remotely.

I wish you the best for 2022!

-Maureen

🔥 Legal Tech: Tracking 12 Months of IPOs and Funding Rounds

A post by Artificial Lawyer provides a clear summary of the trend in the first half of 2021, “Legal Tech Funding Hits $1.4BN, While M&A Soars.” Here, James Goodnow writes about “The Insider’s View On Legaltech VC Funding,” with some salient funding insights from Kira CEO and co-founder, Noah Waisberg. Kira was recently acquired by Litera.

But the reality is that investments are clipping along at fast pace. It’s hard to keep up. I could not find a post which captured the current rounds, so I created a spreadsheet of the past 12 months of legal tech IPOs and funding rounds (Series A and higher). I’m not claiming that it is comprehensive. I’m sure that I’ve missed a few. If you have any to add or any corrections to offer, please let me know via: contact at mobilehelix dot com.

Legal Tech iPOs and Funding Rounds - 12 Months, 2021-November

On November 23, 2021, transcription company Verbit announced that they had closed $250 million in a Series E round that values the company at $2 billion. That’s after raising $157 million in a Series D in June 2021 at over $1 billion valuation, making it one of the first unicorns in legal tech. (To be accurate, Verbit serves more than the legal tech market.)

Also in November, Grammarly, another company with business in legal and beyond, raised $400 million at a valuation of $13 billion. I had to double-check that. Wow. Grammarly has a tool which corrects and improves writing.

Here’s my earlier post on unicorns in legal tech, “We have FOMO in legal tech!”

-Maureen