American LegalNet Releases Risk Management Survey Results, Revealing Law Firms’ Concerns:Rising Cyber Threats, Malpractice Suits and Outdated Technology

Today, American
LegalNet, Inc. (ALN) announced the results of its second
annual Risk Management Survey, conducted during ILTACON 2016 in
August/September. The Survey aimed to benchmark which risks were most
pressing for ILTA members and gauge their readiness to address them. The
2016 Survey showed that ILTA members – a mixture of law firm and
corporate legal department IT, compliance, risk management, legal and
support professionals – had major risk management concerns and expressed
lesser degrees of confidence than last year in their capabilities to
address the threats.

The 2016 Survey respondents worked for law firms of all sizes with the
largest contingent (45%) from firms of 101-500 attorneys. The majority
(71.8%) of respondents were law firm IT professionals including CIOs,
CTOs and IT.

Highlights of the 2016 American LegalNet Risk Management Survey

  • More General Counsels Now Bearing Risk Management Burden
    Compared to the 2015 Survey’s results, the 2016 Survey respondents
    indicated a definite shift in risk management responsibility to the
    General Counsel’s shoulders rather than IT executives or heads of
    risk/compliance. In 2016, 38.16% of respondents said their firm’s
    General Counsel bore the responsibility for their firm’s risk
    management function, an 8.94% increase from the 2015 number (29.22%).
    CIO/CTO responsibility for risk management dropped 17.26% from 38.31%
    in 2015 to 21.05% in 2016.
  • Biggest Risk Management Challenge is Cyber Threats – 55.88% of
    2016 respondents ranked cyber threats as their #1 biggest risk
    management challenge – a 36.6% increase from 2015. This makes sense
    given the year’s Panama Papers and DNC hacking scandals, among others.
  • Changing Confidence Levels in Capability to Address and Mitigate
    – When asked to rate their firm’s overall capability to
    address/mitigate risk, 55% of respondents said they were “Capable” to
    deal with risk, a 14.72% increase from 2015. However, the “Minimal”
    and “We have work to do” responses increased from last year and the
    “More than capable” and “Extremely capable” responses both decreased,
    showing that respondents were less likely to express more than
    basic-level confidence for risk management preparedness. 85% of firms
    saw the need for further investment in risk management, though only
    46.67% had budget to make the changes now.
  • Risk of Legal Malpractice Suits Is Rising – 39.71% agreed with
    the statement “The risk of legal malpractice suits has gone up
    significantly in recent years.” 5.88% disagreed and 54.51% said “not
    sure.” Respondents said the biggest underlying causes of their firm’s
    malpractice claims were: Negligence (23.53%), Conflicts of Interest
    (22.06%), Calendaring Errors (11.76%) and Missed Case Notifications
  • Outdated Docketing Technology Creates Significant Risk – Since
    American LegalNet provides powerful docketing solutions for law firms,
    the survey drilled down to capture more detail about calendaring and
    docketing technology. More than half of responding firms (55.8%) said
    that a decentralized or outdated docketing system created significant
    risk. When asked whether their firm had a centralized
    docketing/calendaring solution, 60.66% of firms said “Yes” and 21.31%
    said “No, we have decentralized tools”. Only 27.87% of respondents
    said their current docketing solution was built on the latest
    technology, indicating that many were using outdated software.

According to Erez Bustan, CEO and Founder of ALN, the 2016 American
LegalNet Risk Management Survey clearly shows that law firm IT
professionals are facing significant challenges protecting their firm
from outside threats as well as internal liabilities. “We at American
LegalNet feel strongly that technology can be the answer to bolstering
law firms’ confidence and strength to combat risk and prevent
malpractice suits,” says Bustan. “Ideally, this Survey will show law
firm management how important risk management is, so they will authorize
their IT leaders to invest in responsibly protecting the firm and its

American LegalNet will be exhibiting at the National
Docketing Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas next week on
September 25-27.

About American LegalNet, Inc.

American LegalNet (ALN) was founded in 1996 and is a trusted partner to
law firms, empowering them with innovative workflow management
technologies that help mitigate risks, increase operational
efficiencies, and reduce costs so they can focus on their core
competencies. Today American LegalNet is the premier provider of Desktop
to Courthouse workflow solutions that include eDockets, Docket Direct,
Forms WorkFlow, Smart Dockets and Docket Alerts. For more information,
or email

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SOURCE: American LegalNet, Inc.”>
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