Survey of lawyers also reveals
attitudes, challenges and uses for technologies supporting e-discovery,
mobility, case assessment and alternative fee arrangements
June 21, 2011 - NEW YORK, NY -
Findings from a nationwide survey of law firms and corporate legal departments
suggest that, while both corporate legal departments and their outside counsel
are using various tools to achieve greater litigation efficiency, a trend may
be developing in which law firms are making significant investments in people
and innovative technologies so they are able to better manage the entire
litigation process. The survey was conducted online among 513 lawyers by Harris
Interactive® on behalf of LexisNexis® (www.lexisnexis.com).
The information is part of a set of
findings from the State of Litigation Management report released today by
LexisNexis. The report, which is available for free download at (www.lexisnexis.com/litigation-survey2011),
also reveals attitudes among U.S. lawyers regarding current litigation
management practices and suggests opportunities for ways to achieve greater
"These findings suggest that
law firms have continued their movement to a 'one-stop shop' model for
litigation management with more of them managing the different aspects of
discovery through integrated technology and on-staff experts," said Matt
Gillis, vice president of Litigation Tools and Professional Services at
LexisNexis. "This will enable firms to offer their clients a more efficient and
trusted set of capabilities for greater control of litigation data, processes
Law Firms Leading the Way - According to the survey, 77 percent of law firms have in
place a number of technology solutions to help them with data management in the
litigation process, compared with 64 percent of corporate legal departments,
and 55 percent of firms have specifically acquired on-site software for
litigation management, compared to 32 percent of corporate legal departments.
The results also indicate investments being made in people, with 20 percent of
U.S. law firms and 18 percent of corporate legal departments now employing
e-discovery professionals on their full-time staffs.
Other noteworthy findings from the
survey include the following:
Challenges for Use of Technology - The most cited concern for managing data reported by all
lawyers surveyed (44 percent) was balancing large amounts of data with budget
constraints and excessive cost to the company. Further, more than half of law
firm and corporate attorneys (53 percent) consider the review phase of
e-discovery as the most time-intensive. In terms of data management, managing
privileged information and keeping up with the latest technology are the most
significant challenges currently facing the legal industry (52 percent and 51
percent, respectively). Forty percent of law firm respondents and 38 percent of
corporate counsel cited time constraints as the biggest obstacle in evaluating
Demand for Mobility - In spite of past concerns about data privacy and the use
of mobile devices, 70 percent of all lawyers surveyed said they want to
retrieve legal information from a mobile device. More specifically, 55 percent
of lawyers surveyed say they want to access legal research, while 45 percent
want key case documents, and 32 percent want case fact chronologies. Perhaps
not surprisingly, attorneys under the age of 40 are leading this trend, with 79
percent reporting they are interested in accessing materials via mobile devices
versus 60 percent for attorneys over age 40.
"Giving lawyers mobile access
to what they want is one way to alleviate time constraints they face in
assessing cases," suggested Gillis. "Enabling attorneys to get information
while on the go directly addresses their most cited concern."
Making AFAs Work - The majority of respondents (65 percent) say that
Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs) for litigation budgeting are important to
the future of the industry, and more than three-quarters (76 percent) of law
firms have some sort of AFA with their clients. However, the survey results
also find that only one in 10 law firms use them for the majority of their clients,
and pricing obstacles are the biggest challenges with putting AFAs in place,
according to 40 percent of law firms and 34 percent of in-house counsel.
"As the e-discovery process
becomes more complicated and time intensive and more attention is paid to it by
the courts, costs associated with the process continue to rise," said
Gillis. "However, innovative tools are being introduced to the market,
which have the ability to simplify the process and ease the burden on staff -
helping address some of those cost concerns."
Case Assessment Tools - When it comes to using technology to help analyze and
assess a case, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of lawyers surveyed said they
believe it is important that case analysis capabilities are integrated with
litigation document management tools.
The survey also found that law firm
lawyers and corporate counsel differ somewhat on what they believe comprises
the most beneficial case analysis technologies and processes. For example, most
law firm lawyers (55 percent) say it is most beneficial to have better overall
case organization for trial and deposition preparation, while corporate lawyers
said that tools that help them with effective reporting, updating and
communication with clients make up the most effective set of tools and
"Corporate counsel and law firm
lawyers have different perspectives based on their roles, but what they appear
to have in common is their desire to see case analysis capabilities integrated
into other solutions they use for litigation management," said Gillis.
"Integrations like that help them more quickly, effectively and confidently
process information about a case, make judgments and then communicate with
their client or firm."
About the Survey
Data for this survey were collected
by Harris Interactive Service Bureau ("HISB") on behalf of LexisNexis. HISB was
responsible for the data collected and LexisNexis was responsible for the
survey design, data analysis and reporting. The survey was conducted online
among 513 U.S. lawyers including 263 law firm attorneys and 250 corporate
counsels between March 14 and 22, 2011.
(www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow
solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk
management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting, and academic
markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis®
and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE:
RUK] (www.reedelsevier.com), LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100
countries with 15,000 employees worldwide.