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Solo & Small Law Firms

What Lawyers Are Using To Run Their Practices

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Ever wonder what tools or services other lawyers are using for practice management, blogging or invoicing?  I did too, which is why a few months back, I conducted a little survey, asking lawyers to share their preferred tools and services for twenty-two different law firm functions and activities.  The results are displayed here.
Of course, the survey is hardly scientific. The survey was publicized on Solosez and Twitter, and generated just 48 responses (probably because the form is so daunting, even though it’s relatively quick to complete). Still, a few observations jump out.

First, despite all of the positive buzz that cloud computing is generating these days, the survey shows that fewer than half of those polled are using web-based tools, at least for practice management, with more using web tools for invoicing. Second – and this is positive news – virtually all the lawyers polled use back-up regularly, with most using online back-up services as well. Third, when it comes to “extras” (tools that aren’t critical but nice to have) – like conference calls, online scheduling and call-forwarding, lawyers are availing themselves of freebies like or Google Voice. On the other hand, for most legal research, about half of the lawyers polled continue to use paid services like Westlaw or Lexis – while the remainder employ services like Casemaker or Fastcase (free or low cost through bar associations) or Google Scholar Legal.

Today’s lawyers are the beneficiaries of far more free and low cost technology tools than those who practiced even five years ago. It’s gratifying to see that lawyers are adopting technology to make their lives easier, and most importantly, serve clients more efficiently and cost-effectively.

If you’d like to provide feedback on what tools you use in your practice, you can post to the comments, or fill out the form.

  • Misaacs

    Carolyn –

    Outstanding job. I've downloaded your result chart so I can take notes. The one area of practice that makes me self-conscious is software collaboration. I feel like I'm all over the place! It's good to see that I'm not alone. It seems that most attorneys in your survey rely on various programs and methods to run their law offices. I can't wait until someone figures out how to put all this stuff together. Do you know of anyone who's working on something more comprehensive?

    Marshall R. Isaacs

  • Interesting to see in that small sample, a few using Time & Chaos. It's a great contact manager and mini-CRM.

  • Thank you for doing this!

  • virtualoffice

    Lawyers have a great advantage over other professions.They can easily have their office located in their homes.

  • Andy Fox

    Sorry I missed the survey. Amicus SFE 2008, Timeslips 11, Outlook 2007, Office 2000, WinMo phone. Bank account done with Quicken 2004.

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