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Most Canadian legal professionals say their industry is overdue for a digital transformation

80% of respondents say their firm is prepared to adopt new cloud-based legal software solutions.

Law firms and legal professionals for a variety of reasons have lagged in their corporate efforts to digitally transform. Nearly eight-in-10 Canadian legal professionals say their industry is overdue for a digital transformation. A national Angus Reid survey that shows the vast majority of law firms recognize the benefits cloud-based solutions. Lawyers recognize that going digital will provide better solutions when it comes to practice management, client service and operational efficiency.

New digital tools enhances legal industry’s ability to go paperless

The survey found that 87% of respondents have adopted new digital tools to operate in the COVID-19 remote work environment. Seventy-nine percent of survey participants said they plan on continuing to use these products going forward. In addition, over 80% agree that implementing cloud-based software solutions increases productivity and operational efficiency across their firms.

“The pandemic accelerated the pace at which law firms have embraced new digital tools, and we anticipate this trend to continue even as employees begin heading back into the office. Using cutting-edge software and cloud-based technology enables lawyers and their teams to accomplish more in less time while reducing manual paperwork and the potential for costly errors. That frees up time for pursuing high-value growth strategies and new market and service expansion.”

Dennis Barnhart, Dye & Durham Canada President

Legal Industry lags other industries when going paperless

Most industries have gone paperless. The legal profession traditionally lags in creating digital copies of files. The profession requires massive amounts of paper backup to stay compliant over long periods of time. Despite this, 70% of legal professionals anticipate going paperless this year. Most think will take two to three years expect to do so in the next five to 10 years. When adopting new digital solutions, upskilling and training staff was one of the top challenges for 51% of respondents. Firms vary on how they train their staff. Most legal firms report they rely on a combination of their technology provider and external consultants to perform training.

“About 42% of respondents noted they have cybersecurity concerns when it comes to using cloud-based digital tools. Protecting our customers’ data is a top priority for us, and that is why we are continuously investing in the security of our platforms. This includes partnering with cybersecurity experts to constantly evaluate and improve our defence posture to ensure we are providing best-in-class protection.”

John Sulja, Dye & Durham Chief Information Officer
Angus Reid Forum Survey Infographic

The survey also found that 50% of respondents prefer purchasing their cloud-based solutions from a single provider. Only fourteen percent prefer a multi-cloud strategy for their digital implementations. Lawyers want ease of purchase, ease of use and ease of support, all in one place.

The survey includes findings conducted by Dye & Durham from March 24th to March 31st, 2022, with a representative sample of 200 legal professionals across Canada who are members of the Angus Reid Forum.

The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 6.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. 

The objective of the survey was to gauge the attitudes and perceptions of legal professionals towards the digitization of the legal profession.

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