This post was inspired by a review copy of a study by Andrew Z. Adkins III entitled, “Case, Matter, and Practice Management System Study” (now available for free by signing up for TechnoLawyer) (hereinafter “the Study”).
Adkins explains that the goal of the Study was to reach a 95% confidence factor with a +/- 5% error rate.1 What that means for the statistically-challenged among us is that if his statistical model is accurate, there’s a pretty good chance that the study is representative of the general professional legal world.2
The Study makes for some really interesting reading, particularly if you’re curious about the climate in the legal tech world. Reading through the 312 page study for blog-worthy material, I realized that I soon had a two-page outline of potential LG material; this inspired me to create a recurring segment for the blog, the name having been appropriately stolen from our podcast, which will be known as You’re Doing It Wrong.
And so, with that foundation:
You’re Doing It Wrong, Installment the First: Your Not-Entirely-Tech-Impaired Lawyer Friend Should Not Be Your Primary Source of Technology Software Advice!
Most of us have at least one or two colleagues who we tend to associate with computers or technology. Is it any surprise that you would go to that friend if you were looking for information on new software or technology? Not really. Is it surprising that you’re more than five times more likely to rely on that friend for legal technology advice than you are to consult a blog dedicated entirely to cutting edge legal technology? One might think so, but according to the Study, only 9.4% of respondents would consult a blog to look for or find information on new software technology while 51.3% look to their colleagues.
The above image is an xkcd3 creation humorously indicating that people like your tech geek colleagues aren’t really smart — they just know how to use Google. In all honesty, that joke probably isn’t far off the mark. So if your colleagues-in-the-know are turning to Google and tech blogs to formulate their opinions, why not skip the middle man, go to Google and the blogs yourself, and come to your own conclusions based on your particular needs? It just seems lazy and not terribly characteristic of the legal profession (in my naive, young lawyer eyes). You can do this yourself, people! I promise that after a few weeks of reading legal tech blogs, your opinions will curiously align with your computer savvy colleague — and you’ll be able to determine whether a certain gadget, app, or tech upgrade is a good choice for you.
I’m assuming that LG readers are generally more technologically inclined. Where do you all get your daily or weekly dose of legal tech advice?
- And they got pretty close, with a reported 95% confidence level, +/- 5.3%. [↩]
- I should note that while you may expect that with my physics and math background I would have an opinion on whether this is an accurate model / representation, my statistics knowledge is very limited and I honestly can’t say one way or the other. [↩]
- A fantastic webcomic you should definitely be reading if you’re a real geek. [↩]