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Law department software that helps manage fees paid – not necessarily lagging usage

Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 17, June 2009 at 11 (Marcus Linden) concludes that “lawyers are slow adopters of management technologies, with the greatest number of respondents still employing manual systems and paper invoices (40.8 percent).”

The survey of 191 in-house senior legal attorneys on which Linden relies found that 36.1 percent use a commercial e-billing system, 27.2 percent use spreadsheets, and 35.1 percent use “homegrown software solutions” (See my post of March 29, 2009: Access database used by one company; and June 9, 2009: SharePoint with 6 references.).

Before you agree that law departments are technology laggards, note that almost half the law departments in the survey (44.2%) support companies that earned less than $1 billion. Those departments support between one and six or seven attorneys, skewed toward the smaller end as are all size distributions, who thus may feel they need less fancy invoice software. The combination of a spreadsheet and information from accounts payable may well be enough for one-to-three lawyers (See my post of March 8, 2009: rely on A/P for spending figures.).