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Is this you? Five new stats about mobile data in law firms

Lori Tyler

Oct 27 2015

Ready or not, mobile data is on the rise in e-discovery matters – and yet many law firms aren’t prepared for the onslaught of collection and review from cell phones and tablets.

This is one of the findings in a new study about mobile data technology in law firms. ALM Marketing Services surveyed their online readers for AccessData and published Survey Report on Law Firms’ Preparedness for Collecting and Reviewing Data on Mobile Devices in August. Attorneys in law firms were the focus of the survey, and respondents were a subset of subscribers and customers from ALM’s extensive database of attorneys.

Here are the top five survey stats you need to know:

  1. Mobile collection is on the rise. Well over half of the respondents –57 percent– indicated they have personally been involved with an average of 3.5 matters that called for the collection and review of data from mobile devices, a sharp increase from only 41 percent in last year’s Norton Rose Fulbright’s Annual Litigation Trends Survey. Since mobile (smartphone and tablet) devices now outsell PCs, Macs and laptops worldwide, it is not surprising that mobile ESI is increasingly relevant to matters of all types.
  2. iPhone continues to reign supreme. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the iPhone is the most common format of mobile data, averaging 34 percent among survey respondents. The Android phone and iPad represent a good chunk of mobile data at 17 percent and 15 percent on average. Smartphones dominate mobile data overall, representing 79 percent of all devices collected.
  3. Mobile is an issue that’s not going away. Most respondents agree mobile data is a vital issue. Sixty-one percent agree it’s a critical area for their clients and it will only increase and sixty-nine percent agree the complexities of dealing with mobile data make it critical to get specific skills and tools to handle it. 42 percent say it’s not a current issue for them―yet.
  4. Surprisingly, while most agree the increase in mobile data is a crucial issue, few are prepared.

  5. Firms are falling behind in preparing for mobile e-discovery The study shows a disconnect between preparedness and the prevalence of mobile data, driven largely by a lack of understanding around mobile technology, mobile collection and the changing regulations. 40 percent of respondents say they have a process in place for collecting mobile data from clients, but just as many do not. About a third of respondents stated they have processes and tools in place, but they’re not up to the task at hand when it comes to complex matters.
  6. BYOD only perpetuates the problem. Although some pundits have predicted security and privacy issues would bring an end to the BYOD phenomenon, it would appear user demand continues to outstrip corporate or firm misgivings about employee-owned devices in the workplace so far. Will the continued mobile expansion mean a change in firm security policies? So far only 27 percent of firms surveyed say they are now formulating policies to govern mobile security. That’s only part of the picture though, since another 38 percent say it is a growing concern they are watching, but have not yet begun to adapt policies and governance around the broad array of mobile devices working their way through the firm and its clients.

What do these results mean for you? Download our white paper for a more in-depth analysis of these survey results or register for our upcoming Webinar on the topic, titled: eDiscovery, Mobile Devices, and ESI: What Every Firm Needs to Know

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