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72% Of Independent Attorneys Believe Law Firms Across The US Are More Likely To Use The Cloud In 2014. (Graphic: Business Wire)

LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading provider of content and technology solutions, announced today the results of a survey demonstrating significant enthusiasm for cloud-based technologies in the legal industry. The survey, conducted by the LexisNexis Firm Manager® team found that 72 percent of practicing attorneys at independent law firms in the U.S. are more likely to use cloud tools in 2014 than the previous year.

A report based on the survey published today, finds that about 40 percent of practicing attorneys in independent U.S. law firms are already using cloud-based tools which is up nearly 10 percent over previous industry studies released in the last 12 months or so. Forty percent of respondents believe that cloud-based tools will eclipse premise-based solutions in the next three to five years.

“While it’s taken the legal industry a bit longer than other industries to come around to the cloud, client expectations for collaborative services, combined with the efficiency, accessibility, and lower total cost are driving the independent attorney to adopt the cloud,” said Loretta Ruppert, senior director for Community Management, with the LexisNexis Firm Manager group. “We’ve clearly hit a tipping point as the gap between early adopters and the mainstream market is closing; 2014 is poised to be the year of the cloud in small law.”

Other key findings in the survey include:

  • Law cloud is poised for mass adoption. A majority of individual lawyers (50%) said they are more likely to use the cloud next year. Firm-wide, the results were more dramatic with 72% saying their firm is more likely to use the cloud in 2014.
  • Security, ethics represent largest concerns. While attorneys in small law firms cite security concerns – just 41% believe confidential data stored in the cloud is safe from intrusion or unauthorized access; most report being more likely to adopt the cloud in 2014.
  • Hacking scandals and data leaks breed concern for cloud security. Most respondents are unsure of cloud security: 59% said the cloud was not secure, they were unsure, or that security depended on other factors. By contrast, just nine percent explicitly said “no” the cloud was not secure; some cite government snooping explicitly as a concern.
  • Will the cloud eclipse premise-based solutions in five years? Nearly 40% of respondents said they believe cloud-based tools will eclipse premise-based tools in 3 to 5 years. An additional 34% believe a cloud eclipse of premise-based solutions will take place but will require five or more years.

This survey aimed at understanding the perceptions of independent lawyers, working at U.S.-based small law firms, have of cloud technology and services. The survey was conducted online from December 5 to December 18, 2013. Respondents were required to identify as a practicing attorney in a law firm that employs no more than 20 lawyers. Two-hundred and seventy nine attorneys from across more than a dozen different practice areas, and representing 44 different states or territories, including Washington, D.C. participated.

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