I came across an interesting technology use survey sponsored by LexisNexis. It has a lot of data on tech usage and attitudes and compares legal and other professionals and three generation of users. It’s worth a look though it’s a bit overwhelming in scope and I am not sure it is actionable for IT managers and CIOs. 

The LexisNexis Technology Survey Gap [PDF]. LN conducted the survey (via a third party) in summer 2008. My take-away from the copious data and analysis:

  • Almost all professionals now rely on technology. [What’s up with the few who don’t?]
  • Gen Y [born 1980+] legal professionals spend more time on applications than Gen X or Boomers but may be less productive as a result
  • I found page 23, hours per day spent using various devices, the most fascinating. All respondents report spending time using a fax machine, typewriter, and pager, for an average total of 2+ hours / day. Excuse me? I don’t see how this can be reliable. Even when fax was important, legal professionals did not spend much time using a fax machine (maybe reading faxes). I can’t think of anyone I know who owns a pager. I don’t think there are enough typewriters available to support the implied usage.
  • CIOs who want to control non-work applications may find some good ammo for their arguments

As I read the survey, it does not address a long-standing question I have: are Gen Y legal professionals more tech savvy than older generations? Many lawyers and tech managers assert this is true. And this survey shows they use more applications. But that still leaves open the question of whether, when it comes to practicing law more effectively with technology, newly minted lawyers are better than older ones.