The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center is out with its 2010 Legal Technology Survey Report. The six-volume survey looks at legal-technology trends in various aspects of law practice. Reliable statistics about lawyers’ use of technology are hard to come by, but this annual survey has proven to be a fairly good indicator of overall trends.

Volume IV of the survey covers Web and communication technology and has some interesting statistics regarding lawyers’ use of social networking.

  • Asked whether they personally maintain a presence in an online social network such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Legal OnRamp, 56% of lawyers said yes. Just two years ago, in 2008, only 15% said yes to that question.
  • The numbers were lower for the question of whether the lawyers’ firms maintained a presence in a social network. Just 17% percent said yes. Still, that was up from 12% last year and 4% in 2008.
  • At firms of more than 100 attorneys, more than a third of lawyers had no idea whether their firms were involved in social networks.
  • When broken down by practice area, IP lawyers are most likely to participate in a social network. That makes sense, but you’d probably never guess the next two practice areas on the list: contracts (62%) and commercial law (59%).

For the first time this year, the survey asked lawyers to identify which social networks they participate in. Here’s what they said:

  • LinkedIn, 83%.
  • Facebook, 68%.
  • Plaxo, 18%.
  • Martindale-Hubbell Connected, 4%.
  • LawLink and Twitter, both 2%.
  • Avvo, LegalOnRamp and LegallyMinded, each 1%.

When asked whether they participate in a microblogging service such as Twitter, Jaiku or Tumblr, 5% said yes, up from 1% last year.

Volume IV of the survey is available for purchase from the ABA for $350 (or $300 for ABA members).

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.