IBA: Lawyer Telecommuting on the Rise

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The days of being chained to a desk truly are ending for most lawyers. The American Bar Association recently announced that seventy-one percent of its members surveyed say they telecommute, and they are working in a variety of places. Lawyers are telecommuting at home (88 percent), in hotels (32 percent), in others’ offices (21 percent), in public places such as libraries or courthouses (14 percent), and in coffee shops and cafes (12 percent).

Less than 1 percent spend all of their time working away from their main office, however. The bulk of the respondents—46 percent—spend between 10 percent and 24 percent of their time telecommuting.

The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center surveyed association members on six different technology subjects in January through May of this year. A total of 859 responded to the “mobile lawyers” subject.

When it comes to technology, lawyers don’t leave the office without it. Ninety-five percent use computers away from the office, 89 percent use laptops, and 79 percent use BlackBerrys or smartphones.

A different portion of the survey, which had 806 respondents, found online research is among the work being done away from the office. Thirty-five percent of the respondents said they regularly conduct legal research at home, up from 29 percent in the 2009 survey. Five percent say they do legal research while in transit or traveling.•


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