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Considering the fact that my two-year-old nephew has a smartphone (he likes the talking cat app), it is unsurprising that the vast majority of attorneys are smartphone users. In fact, according to iPhone JD and the 2012 ABA Tech Survey, 89 percent of attorneys use their smartphones for work.
Eighty-nine percent. Big freaking deal, right? Even email counts as work.
How about this? In one year, lawyers' use of tablets increased from 14 percent to 33 percent, (91 percent of which are iPads). As for apps, eighty-five percent of MyCase users, per an internal survey, use practice-management apps.
Smartphones are established while tablets are gaining steam and likely will be nearly as ubiquitous soon.
The only bad news, at least for me, is that a mere sliver of attorneys (17 percent) seem to be Android users.
That's a lot of numbers. If you are the visual type, MyCase turned all of that data (and a bit more) into a pretty infographic.
Fabulous. Lawyers use smartphones and tablets. You probably do too. Why should you care?
We're becoming an always-connected workforce. It's no longer sufficient to run your office from your office. You've got to have access to your data at all times. That means cloud-based practice management software is going to become a near must-have in the near future. (Cell phones better get bigger batteries as well. Just sayin'.)
We've already checked out MyCase, Amicus Cloud, and Total Attorneys. In the near future, we're planning to evaluate our corporate granpappy's Firm Central, as well as Clio and RocketMatters. That's a lot of options in an increasingly-crowded field. Hopefully, by the time we've used all of them, we'll be able to differentiate the choices so that you don't have to try all six yourself.
It also makes one wonder if, in a few years, we'll all be running our entire practices from tablets and the cloud. Every week, cloud software becomes less buggy. Though many of us are too irritated by the lag and instability that comes with mobile office suites (try editing a Google Spreadsheet quickly ... so painful), we all have to admit that compared to a year or two ago, the current options are pretty dang good. Imagine how good they'll be in two more years.
April 15, 2013 Editor's Note: This post has been corrected to reflect that the ABA's 2012 Legal Tech Survey reported that 89 percent of attorneys use their smartphones for work.
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