Hate Your Desktop? Too Damn Bad, Because That’s What Your Firm’s Giving You.

While the business world becomes more mobile — demanding employees to work from home, from the train, from the client’s office, from opposing counsel’s conference room, from the airport, and from vacation — many firms remain hopelessly tied to keeping their lawyers hopelessly tied to their desks. When some Biglaw firms started handing out laptops to their attorneys back at the turn of the century, there was a sense that we were witnessing the first cautious trickles that would become a deluge of laptop adoption. Seventeen years later, the desktop computer proved more resilient than we imagined.

And it’s even gaining steam (to invoke yet another archaic technology).

The latest LegalTech News survey reveals how desktop is on the upswing.

The 2017 LTN Law Firm Tech Survey found that 45 percent of law firms plan to equip lawyers with desktop computers in their next hardware refresh, a 16 point jump from last year. The bump in desktop purchasing also seems to show a pivot from the 20 percent that planned to equip attorneys with desktop computers exclusively. In 2016, 41 percent of firms intended to equip attorneys with laptop computers only in their next hardware refresh, and an additional 30 percent of firms planned to offer attorneys laptops and tablet devices.

ILTA says there’s no real jump in desktop purchasing… it’s been here all along. Their backward-looking data reveals that roughly 60 percent of law firms went with desktops over the last couple of years.

Either way, it’s all about the desktop.

But why? What can possibly keep these dinosaurs roaming the halls — or sitting quietly on desks as it may be — when we know the technology exists to hold all that computing power in a bag? Are Biglaw firms just cheap? Are crusty old lawyers just terrified of new-fangled “fold up” computers? Well, no. Desktops are just a hell of a lot easier to deal with because they don’t move.

There are upkeep advantages when every…

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