To put the results in perspective, it is helpful to know who responded. Of those responding, 94% are attorneys, equally divided between those who have practiced more than 20 years and those who have practiced less; ten percent have practiced three years or less. Respondents practice in a variety of firm sizes: 55% in solo firms, 30% in 2-5 attorney firms, and 15 % in 6 or more attorney firms. Lastly, respondents were evenly spread in usage habits, one third daily or weekly, one third monthly, and one third less frequently.
Opinions on practicelaw.org
Respondents rated practicelaw better than previous years in all key areas - value, importance, and satisfaction. We are delighted that 96% of respondents think the quality of practicelaw materials is excellent or good. Also, 96% are very satisfied or satisfied with the materials on practicelaw, and 84% find practicelaw a very valuable or valuable resource for their practice.
Over half of the respondents reported using the real estate materials (UCBs, RPFs, ECBs) (61%, 61%, 51% respectively) and probate (57%), while approximately one-third used civil (38%), family (36%), practice checklists (35%), and guardianship/conservatorship (31%) resources. Usage of civil, probate, and criminal materials showed the biggest uptick from last year.
The survey asked what type of materials we should add or expand. Top vote getters were checklists (57%), flowcharts/timelines (47%), and sample policies (38%). These results dovetail nicely with our spring plan for Jump Starts. Jump Starts are a new resource designed to help attorneys get up to speed quickly on various topics – 101 guides, technology, “hot” issues – with resources organized visually by topic.
Respondents also asked for civil practice forms materials, which we posted in December 2011; family law and business law materials, which are in the works and will be available in 2012. We also hope to add additional probate forms later in 2012.
Use of Word Processing, Online Legal Research, Social Media, Mobile Devices
Many respondents made the jump to Microsoft Word 2010 last year. Now 35% report using the updated software compared to 15% last year. For legal research, 43% use Westlaw (down slightly from the past two years of 51% and 47% respectively) and 61% use Fastcase (up from 47% and 58% in previous years. Facebook use is about the same at 45% (from 44% and 40% in previous years) but LinkedIn use is increased (57% up from 46% and 49% in previous years).
When asked about use of mobile devices, on a daily basis 58% of respondents expect to use a mobile device to check work email, 27% to access social media, and 9% to read blogs, 6% to access practice resources, and 5% conduct legal research.
Last but not least… Thanks
We are very grateful that so many took the time to complete the survey. Your responses and comments are invaluable when we budget and plan content for the upcoming years. Thanks!