The American Bar Association, for many years, has surveyed lawyers about their use of technology. The 2018 results are now available. The full results are available for purchase here.

The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (fondly acronymized as “LTRC”) has been publishing summaries of key findings from the survey as TECHREPORTS, which are available at no charge. The TECHREPORTS for the 2018 survey may be found here.

I wanted to highlight the Cloud Computing TECHREPORT, in part because I wrote it, but in larger part because the security results are very worrisome and troubling to me.

Here’s the money quote:

Confidentiality, security, data control and ownership, ethics, vendor reputation and longevity, and other concerns weigh heavily on the minds of lawyers, yet the employment of precautionary security measures is quite low, with no more than 38.1% of respondents actually taking any one of the specific standard cautionary security measures listed in the 2018 Survey question on the topic. 10.7%, an increase from 9% in 2017, reported taking no security precautions of the types listed. Only 40.7% of respondents report that adoption of cloud computing resulted in changes to internal technology or security policies.

I conclude the Cloud Computing TECHREPOORT with:

Reported growth in cloud use stayed relatively flat in 2018. However, the continuing lack of actual attention to confidentiality, security, and due diligence issues remains a serious concern, especially with the growth in mobile apps running on cloud services. The results on security procedures will continue to fuel client concerns about security efforts by their outside law firms.

There is much that law firm IT departments and technology committees, legal technology vendors and consultants, corporate law departments, clients, and all legal professionals interested in the adoption of technology by lawyers can learn from these results. They give us much to think about and some indications where firms might want to move their technology strategies in the coming year and beyond. Applying basic common sense, diligence, and increased attention to security efforts might be the biggest lesson to learn for the upcoming year. In short, cloud cybersecurity must be on your technology plan for 2019.

The survey findings on cloud computing will be of special interest to cloud vendors, law firm clients, and law firms making strategic technology and innovation plans. Although, as I note in the TECHREPORT, some of the results indicate a probably lack of understanding about the cloud and cloud usage by some respondents, you will find the trends over the last few years quite revealing about the legal industry.

As always, I’m happy to hear your feedback on the Cloud Computing TECHREPORT, highly recommend all of the TECHREPORTS to you, and encourage you let the LTRC know if you have suggestions for improving the survey questions and the TECHREPORTS.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Now available:

The second edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.