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2023 Tech Trends Report: A Move Toward Remote Work  

Legal pros operating in virtual environments overwhelmingly said the “ability to travel and work from anywhere” was the defining characteristic of their practice.

ABA3To that end, more than three-quarters of all those surveyed by the American Bar Association (ABA) identified travel flexibility as the most important component of their virtual operations, and a majority of attorneys identified an improved work/life balance as a key reason for their decision to work remotely.

These results, among others, are included in the ABA’s recently published TechReport 2023, which will be released in parts every Monday through February and covers a litany of tech topics ranging from AI to cybersecurity to training and budgeting, according to the trade association.

AI has been an increasingly hot topic legislatively and in the legal community itself. As such, there was no shortage of legislation introduced in 2023 aimed at ensuring artificial intelligence is developed properly, and the Brennan Center released a tracking portal to make it easier to keep tabs on federal legislation addressing the emerging tech.

“Just as artificial intelligence is rapidly evolving, so is the legislative landscape. A plethora of bills have already been introduced this session, with many more coming down the pike,” according to the center. “The tracker adds to the Brennan Center’s research on the risks AI poses to elections and the discriminatory impact of AI used in immigration, law enforcement social media monitoring, and facial recognition.”

Per the ABA data, virtually practicing attorneys make up 11% of the total population in the field. Additionally, 60% cited “minimal contact with clients” and 53% identified a “lack of traditional physical office” as the top characteristic defining their work.

“The Legal Technology Survey Report, launched more than two decades ago by the ABA Law Practice Division, is recognized as the primary source for information regarding the use of technology by attorneys in private practice. It is based on responses by practicing lawyers—not consultants, vendors or IT staff,” according to the ABA.

The survey is separated into nine separate sections and is focused on tech issues rather than actual products used to execute legal practices, notes the study.

From X (formerly Twitter)

Relativity @RelativityHQ ·Dec 21

"Artificial intelligence has been the story of 2023 in #legaltech. Dr. Aron Ahmadia, Senior Director for Applied Science at Relativity, believes the release of GPT-4 represents the “dawn of a new era in legal technology.” #Predictions #AI #GPT4"

Other examples of data in the report include:

  • More than half (56%) of respondents reported regular use of fee-based online services in support of legal research, while 21% indicated occasional use
  • Only 12% said of respondents “never” use fee-based internet services to do legal research
  • Compared to 65% of firms in 2022, 64% in this year’s survey indicated they are budgeting for technology
  • In each of the last four years, fewer attorneys reported using a desktop for their “primary computer.” In 2020, 49% of those asked reported as much, a number that steadily dropped to 40% in 2023
  • In 2023, 54% of those asked said a laptop computer is their primary work device

From X (formerly Twitter)

Tom Martin @lawdroid 

"Free Law Project Seeks to Develop Open Access System to Disrupt Court E-Filing; Seeks Court Partners #lawtwitter #futureoflaw #legaltech #courts #justicetech #a2j #accesstojustice"

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