Printer Friendly

MOST LAW FIRMS NOW HAVE INFO SYSTEMS DIRECTORS LEXIS(R) SURVEY SHOWS LAWYERS' TECH USE DRIVING NEED FOR MANAGERS

 MOST LAW FIRMS NOW HAVE INFO SYSTEMS DIRECTORS


LEXIS(R) SURVEY SHOWS LAWYERS' TECH USE DRIVING NEED FOR MANAGERS
 DAYTON, Ohio, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- To manage the growing technology needs of attorneys, 95.6 percent of the nation's largest law firms now employ Information Systems (IS) directors -- a 10.5 percent increase since 1990, a survey by Mead Data Central, Inc., provider of the LEXIS(R) service, has found.
 The increase comes at a time when many law firms, responding to the sluggish economy, are delaying investments in new technology and outsourcing more IS work, according to the survey.
 "The economy doesn't seem to be negatively affecting the IS hiring trend. What's driving the increase in IS directors is the growing use of technology among attorneys," said David A. Berger, vice president and general manager for Mead Data Central's Legal Information Services division.
 "We're approaching a point where every large law firm will have an IS director to maximize productivity," Berger added.
 The poll of the nation's 250 largest law firms shows that 63.7 percent of attorneys use computers and other technology -- such as electronic mail and cellular phones -- in their daily practice, an increase of 10.4 percent over 1990.
 Although the need for technology managers among law firms is growing, firms are casting a critical eye on the need for new technology. The greatest number (45.7 percent) said they are postponing new technology purchases as a result of the poor economy. In addition, 14 percent are putting off hiring computer staff, 10.9 percent are downsizing the IS department or freezing salaries, and 9.3 percent are outsourcing more computer work.
 Still, a large number (41.1 percent) are shrugging off the effects of the recession and are going ahead with plans for enhancing their technology investments.
 "The fact that firms are almost evenly split on whether to upgrade their technology reflects a need to balance today's bottom line concerns with the need to be competitive in the future," said Berger. "For many firms, the efficiencies alone justify the expense of new technology."
 An overwhelming majority of firms (94.1 percent) responding to the survey say that overall productivity of attorneys and support staff has improved since they introduced technology. An even greater number (97 percent) expect further efficiency gains in the future.
 One reason for the enhanced productivity, said Berger, may be the growing use of personal computers among attorneys. The survey indicates those with access to their own personal computers has increased dramatically in the last two years. Lawyers with PCs now number 61.4 percent, a jump of 21 percent since 1990.
 And, marking a new trend, 11.5 percent of attorneys now use laptop and notebook computers on a regular basis.
 Aside from greater efficiency, firms say that the top benefits of using technology include better quality of work product (91.1 percent), improved responsiveness to clients (82.2 percent), greater flexibility (76.3 percent), greater competitive edge (66.7 percent) and better planning and analysis (48.9 percent). A substantial number (40 percent) said technology has improved their firms' financial performance.
 Overall, the most popular uses for computers are legal research and word processing, both performed by 99.3 percent of the firms, administration/billing (97.8 percent), document management (83 percent), marketing and new business (79.3 percent) and cite checking (77.8 percent).
 In the last two years, the most popular technology additions were portable computers, introduced by 70.4 percent of the firms, local area networks (63.7 percent), electronic mail (51.9 percent), pagers and cellular phones (43.7 percent) and CD-ROM systems (42.2 percent). Private databases, optical scanners and expert systems were other frequently mentioned enhancements.
 Using technology to communicate information also is important to law firms. According to the LEXIS survey, 79.3 percent of firms communicate information internally through a local area network and through modem links to branch offices. Another 72.6 percent communicate via modem with their clients, and 40 percent communicate with the courts in that manner.
 The typical law firm IS director has an average of 13.6 years of experience in information technology, and 7.6 years of law experience. Annual salaries for IS directors average $78,800, up 12.1 percent from the $70,300 annual salary reported in the 1990 survey.
 The LEXIS survey was mailed last month to the nation's 250 largest law firms. It was answered by 135 firms, a 54 percent response rate.
 LEXIS is the leading full-text, computer-assisted legal research service, offering state, federal and international case law, statutes and specialized law libraries.
 Mead Data Central, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Mead Corporation (NYSE: MEA), a leader in forest products and electronic publishing. Both companies have headquarters in Dayton, Ohio.
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Joseph of Mead Data Central, 513-865-6958; or Will Thoretz of Manning Selvage & Lee, 212-213-7175, for Mead Data Central/ CO: Mead Data Central ST: Ohio IN: PUB SU:


KK -- CLFNS1 -- 1642 07/22/92 07:35 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 22, 1992
Words:843
Previous Article:SYMBOL SECOND-QUARTER NET INCOME IS $.25 PER SHARE ON RECORD REVENUES OF $94.9 MILLION
Next Article:SWISSAIR SELECTS WICAT FOR FLIGHT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND MD-80 TRAINING DEVELOPMENT
Topics:


Related Articles
IMLA NAMES LEXIS-NEXIS AND AMERICAN LEGAL PUBLISHING AS CONSULTANTS
LEXIS Publishing(TM) Announces Partnership with Plumtree Software to Offer First Legal Corporate Portal Solution.
LawCommerce.com(SM) and Lexis-Nexis(R) Enter into Major Strategic Alliance.
lexisONE(SM) Practice Management Resource Adds New Features to Help Small-Practice and Independent Attorneys.
Lexis-Nexis(R) Announces Comprehensive Wireless Services for the Legal Profession.
Lexis-Nexis Group to Acquire Book Publishing Company.
lexisONE(SM) Launches The LOOP.
lexisONE(SM) 'Lifestyle Section' Features Exclusive Content from Contributors Such as Hunter S. Thompson and Jeffrey Lyons.
Lexis-Nexis Forms Alliance with Semio Corporation to Provide Customers with a Fully Customizable Taxonomy System.
ABA'S INSURANCE MAG TO BE PUBLISHED BY LEXIS-NEXIS; NEW REPORT ON MALPRACTICE.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters