Tech icon  Virtual law offices

Roughly 1 in 12 lawyers said they have a “virtual law practice” – approximately 8%, according to the 2022 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.


What makes a practice virtual?

Several things define a “virtual law practice,” according to lawyers with them:



cited the ability to travel and work from anywhere



cited the ability to work outside of normal business hours



identified the lack of traditional physical space



cited minimal in-person contact with clients



cited the use of web-based tools for client interaction



said the ability to always be “open”

Tech icon  Security
• 5% – Solo lawyers who suffered a breach


• 36% – Firms with 10-49 lawyers that suffered a breach

Most lawyers never suffer a computer security breach, but the problem is growing. One in 4 lawyers (27%) said their firm has suffered one, according to the 2022 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report. That is up slightly from 23% in 2018. 

To protect themselves, nearly half of all lawyers (46%) said their firms have cyber liability insurance. That’s up significantly from 34% in 2018.

Viruses, spyware and malware were common problems, but less so than in the past. In 2022, 32% of lawyers said their law firm technology had been infected at some point, down from 43% in 2017.

To prevent security breaches, roughly half of all lawyers said their firms use two-factor authentication (53%) and encrypt files (49%). Only a handful said their firms monitor employees (19%) or use biometric login techniques (9%).

Tech icon  Online research
“Hey Siri, how many lawyers use Siri, Alexa or Google Home?”

Nine percent of lawyers said they have, and 3% said they do so regularly.

On average, lawyers spend nearly a fifth of their time (18%) on legal research. That’s virtually unchanged from 2019 (17%).

When lawyers start a research project, many begin with a search engine like Google (38%) or a paid online resource (37%). Very few start with printed materials (4%).

Which paid online services do lawyers use for research? Most (69%) said Westlaw/Westlaw Edge, followed by Lexis/Lexis+ (42%). Among the most popular free websites for legal research are government websites (63%), FindLaw (56%) and Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (54%). 

Many lawyers (35%) still regularly use printed materials for legal research, but 8% said they never do.

For legal news, the most-used paid sources online are Law360 (42%) and The Wall Street Journal (37%). 

Tech icon  Social media

Law firms like social media. Nearly 9 out of 10 lawyers (89%) said their firms are on social networks. Most firms that use social media are on LinkedIn (87%) and Facebook (62%). Only a third use X, formerly Twitter, (38%) and Martindale (37%).

For marketing purposes, a slim majority of lawyers said their firms use LinkedIn (51%). No other site comes close. Facebook (27%) and X (14%) are used far less often for marketing. Many firms (40%) also use email.

And many firms still use traditional marketing methods: 44% sponsor events, 11% use direct mail, 9% use radio and 7% use Yellow Pages.

Most lawyers (82%) also use social media as individuals for professional purposes. Among those, virtually all (96%) are on LinkedIn. Only 31% are on Facebook and 20% on X. 

Law firm blogging is becoming more popular. More than a third of lawyers (37%) said their firms have blogs – up from 27% in 2020. Blogs are much more popular among big firms. Only 11% of solo practitioners blog, but 60% of firms with 100 lawyers or more do. 

social media icons
• 47% – All firms with a social media policy

• 90% – Big firms (500+ lawyers) with a social media policy


Tech icon  Hardware and software

The war for cell phone and computer dominance at law firms is just about over. One type of smartphone dominates, as does one type of computer. The iPhone is by far the most common smartphone for lawyers (80%), according to the 2022 Legal Technology Survey Report. Only 19% use an Android.

But Microsoft still dominates law office computers. The vast majority of lawyers (83%) use Windows on their main computer, according to the 2022 survey. Only 6% use Macs. Nine percent don’t know what operating system they use.

Laptops continue to push aside desktop computers. In 2021, for the first time, most lawyers (53%) said a laptop was their main work computer. That rose to 56% in 2022. The number has increased every year since 2018. 

But many lawyers aren’t happy with small laptop screens. Nearly half (45%) use their laptop with a monitor and mouse. Of those, 55% use two monitors, 8% use three monitors and 1% use four screens or more.

Tech icon  Training

The vast majority of lawyers (90%) said they’re comfortable with their law office technology, according to the 2022 ABA Legal Technology Survey. Only 4% said they’re uncomfortable with it. Technical difficulties are still common, though. Most lawyers (55%) said technology problems often or sometimes hurt their productivity. 

Most lawyers are satisfied with their tech training. Three-quarters (75%) said technology training is available at their law office, and virtually the same number (76%) said that that training was adequate. 

How do lawyers prefer to get their tech training? It varies: 33% like on-demand, recorded virtual courses, 27% prefer live virtual courses, 17% like self-guided online learning materials and 24% have no preference.



Tech icon  Online reading

The 2022 ABA Legal Technology Survey asked lawyers what they do online to maintain current awareness. The vast majority attend webinars (88%) and read email newsletters (87%). Most also use email case alert services (63%) and read blogs (59%).

Almost half watch online videos (such as those on YouTube) or listen to podcasts (48% each). A similar minority read online message boards (45%). Even fewer use Twitter (31%) or automated clipping services (27%).

Few lawyers (18%) use RSS feeds anymore. And most (51%) said they never read their firm intranet, extranet or website.

Download the ABA Profile of the Legal Profession in .pdf format