Less than half of law firms have disaster plans, ABA report finds

As more and more attorneys and law firms work remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those lawyers don’t have plans for disaster recovery or business continuity, according to a 2019 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.

According to the report, just 41% of lawyers say their law firms have such plans in place. Larger law firms are likelier to have a business continuity plan. Among firms of 500 lawyers or more, 86% did, the report found.

At firms of 100-499 lawyers, 61.8% were likely to have those plans in place, while the rate declined to 59.3% at firms with 50-99 attorneys. Roughly 21% of solo practitioners are prepared with disaster plans. Law firms with two to nine lawyers are 37.4% likely to have a plan in place, and firms with 10-49 lawyers have a 38.6% likelihood.

Prior to the pandemic, just over half of all attorneys surveyed said they telecommuted at least part-time, according to the report. Of those who telecommuted, about 6% said they are full-time telecommuters and 41% said they telecommuted at least once a week.

Additionally, just 5% of attorneys said telecommuting is prohibited by office policy and 3% said they lack the necessary technology to telecommute.

The report further found that 88% of attorneys telecommute from home, but at least 26% of lawyers work from hotels, 23% from vacation homes, or 14% from other offices. Some even telecommute from public places such as coffee shops or cafes (10%).

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