Intapp, a provider of business applications for professional services firms, has announced the results of a survey designed to look at lawyers’ attitudes toward technology.
The survey, conducted in partnership with YouGov, polled 258 lawyers at firms with 50-plus employees: 133 in the U.S. and 125 in the U.K. It focused on how technology and culture are affecting lawyer attitudes toward their firms.
At a high level, the survey showed that lawyers recognize the importance of using software that is purpose-built for their needs and those of their clients as opposed to generic solutions. Among lawyers surveyed based in the U.S., 40% said little to none of the software they use regularly has been designed with a law firm in mind.
Digging a bit deeper into the details of what these U.S. lawyers say they need to make their experience with legal technology better, 41% indicate that user interface is a problem, followed by a need for software more tailored to the business of law (29%) and more intuitive operation of the software (29 %).
Artificial intelligence (AI) was a high-profile technology trend that many lawyers surveyed think will be valuable. In the U.S., 30 % said that AI could help draft legal documents and another 30% said it could help track billable time. Others said its value lies in conflicts clearance (25%), compliance with client billing requirements (20%) and estimating fees of an engagement (19%).
Regarding what these U.S. lawyers say their clients want, 35%of those with clients report that they are demanding faster service, while 24% say their clients want more transparency about the status of matters.
Another priority is lower fees, with 25% indicating that as a client demand. Unsurprisingly, these opinions vary between big law and other-sized firms, with big law valuing lower fees at 33% (vs. 15% for non-big law) and faster service at 30% (vs. 40%).
“The survey results align closely with the larger business trend of organizations recognizing the need to shift to industry-vertical technology solutions and away from the one-size-fits-all model,” said Dan Tacone, Intapp’s president. “In the case of the legal industry, the competition from other law firms, legal service providers and in-house attorneys is too fierce to not take advantage of modern, purpose-built technology. To differentiate themselves, meet client expectations and grow profits, technology has to play a significant role in a firm’s business processes and operations. This trend is industry-agnostic and will continue to grow.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 258 lawyers at firms with 50+ employees: 133 in the U.S. and 125 in the U.K. Fieldwork was undertaken between February 8-14, 2019. The survey was carried out online.