Ride the Lightning

Cybersecurity and Future of Law Practice Blog
by Sharon D. Nelson Esq., President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

MyCase Publishes 2021 Legal Industry Report: 82% of Law Firms Fully Reopened

November 11, 2021

MyCase released its 2021 Legal Industry Report: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic on November 9. Over 2000 lawyers participated in its survey, which took place in September-October 2021.

Notably, 82% of law firms reported that they were fully reopened. Of the 18% who were not fully reopened, 77% were unsure when they would fully reopen.

76% of respondents reported using cloud technology before the pandemic – that percentage rose to 88% after the pandemic. 23% reported that their firms used cloud-based law practice management software, 13% used document management software, 12% used calendar management software and 12% used credit card online payment tools.

Almost half of the respondents said their firms had invested in remote working software because of the pandemic. The most used of the new tools were video conferencing tools (32%) e-signature tools (22%), law practice management software (14%), time and billing software (13%) and communication software (16%).

73% of respondents indicated that the remote working tools had increased productivity and 80% reported that remote working tools were part of the firm’s long-term business continuity strategy.

64% indicated that change management presented obstacles for their firm. Costs presented the biggest challenge by far. Other concerns involved the ease of software adoption, the lengthy implementation process, data migration and security issues.

What was most important when implementing new software? That it was easy to use, that migrating data was easy, that the software adopted well into firm processes and that the software was easy to teach lawyers and staff.

That may have been the goal for each change, but they all presented major challenges along with choosing new software, researching software options, and getting buy-in from key stakeholders at the firm.

To no one’s surprise, 94% of those who used document management software reported that it was somewhat or significantly easier to locate documents.

Over 90% found that document sharing and collaboration was easier when using document sharing software.

66% reported that inefficient or missed communications was a moderate or significant challenge. Losing track of communications came in second at 60%. 42% reported a key communications challenge was having to share personal contact information such as a personal cell phone number with clients. For 36% communicating securely was a challenge. Nearly half of the respondents used encrypted communications, with the majority using online client portals. Encrypted email was used by only 29% of firms.

Text messaging with clients rose to 79% of respondents using that method of communication. Online text messaging tools were used by 55% compared to 45% using cell phones to text.

57% of firms now use internal chat tools, 52% using chat tools built into their law practice management software, 33% using chat tools built into their email systems, and 19% using standalone tools such as Slack.

59% of respondents expected firm revenues to increase in 2021.

Time tracking software was used by 81% of the respondents.

Legal billing software was used by 87% of the respondents.

77% now use online payment processing software, with more than half reporting that their firms were collecting more money through use of this software.

79% now use e-signature tools.

A lot of good data with good supplemental reading if you get the full 36-page report.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our friend Niki Black for inviting us to be part of the Inaugural MyCase Customer Conference!

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
3975 University Drive, Suite 225, Fairfax, VA 22030
Email: Phone: 703-359-0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology