“AmLaw Tech Survey: Law Firms Play Variations on Old Themes”

This interesting survey (the 11th annual), finds law firms expanding their information technology investments:

"True technological revolutions are few and far between. And making the ‘old’ work with the ‘new’ can make it increasingly difficult for chief information officers to maintain or advance the value of technology for their firms’ lawyers. Results of the 11th Annual AmLaw Tech Survey [link in article] indicate that the Am Law 200 continue to build out their IT infrastructures — as capital spending continues to climb steadily and technology staffs grow larger.

"As much as legal technology changes, it really does stay the same. While software applications with expanded features continue to hit the market, there aren’t many entirely new types of programs that law firms are adopting right now. Instead, they’re managing what amounts to variations on what have already become old themes.

"For instance, Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery is in the process of upgrading its e-mail program. E-mail has been an integral part of most people’s professional life for years, so it’s anything but a ‘killer new app.’ Yet it’s because legal software vendors have focused on developing programs to integrate with e-mail systems based on Microsoft Outlook Exchange, that users of Lotus Notes-based e-mail, like McDermott Will, have often found themselves left behind. That’s why the firm finds itself wrestling with an e-mail problem in 2006."