LFM AmLaw 200/Global 100 Mobile App Report for 2013
As of April 17, the Law Firm Mobile (LFM) blog is pleased to release its second annual research report on AmLaw 200 and Global 100 law firm implementation of mobile apps. Last year’s report can be found here.
In the summary below, we first present statistics on the extent of mobile app penetration by large law firms. Second, we describe our general impressions on the state of law firm mobile efforts based on this data. Last, this report provides a detailed list of the names of those law firms offering apps along with URLs to app reviews published by this blog as well as links to applicable app stores.
- Of the firms on the 2012 AmLaw 200 list, 22 firms (11%) have mobile apps. This is an increase of 38% from last year . As a point of reference, 54 AmLaw200 firms (27%) have mobile compatible web sites.
- Of the firms on the Global 100 list, 23 firms (23%) have mobile apps. This is an increase of 35% from last year [17 firms]. As a point of reference, 29 Global100 firms (29%) have mobile compatible web sites.
- AmLaw 200 and Global 100 firms have collectively produced a total of 42 apps. This is an increase of 54% from last year.
Firms with More Than One App
- Of all the firms in the AmLaw 200 and Global 100, 7 have produced more than one smart phone app: Arnold & Porter, Baker McKenzie, Latham & Watkins, Littler Mendelson, Morrison & Foerster, Eversheds, and Allen & Overy. This is up from 4 last year. Latham & Watkins has produced the most apps – 6 so far.
- Of the 42 apps produced by AmLaw and Global firms, 100% are offered on the iPhone, 2 are offered on the BlackBerry (5%), and 7 are offered on Android (17%).
Type of Apps
- Of the 42 apps produced by AmLaw and Global firms, 4 (10%) were focused on recruitment, 2 (5%) were produced for events, 11 (26%) presented general information about each firm, and 24 (57%) provided legal resources of various types. 1 app, from Mallesons Stephen Jaques requires a client sign-in and password to receive client-tailored information.
The big observation from this year’s report is the limited absolute growth of app production by large law firms. To the extent that large law firms are moving tentatively into the mobile space via mobile compatible websites, AmLaw and Global 100 firms are moving much slower in the mobile app arena.
This limited effort into mobile is in contrast to the explosion of the use of smart phones by society in general, and business and legal users in particular. Law firm lawyers themselves have been users of BlackBerry email devices for years and now are users of Android and iPhone smartphones. Despite using the mobile web and mobile apps to obtain general and legal news and information as well as using apps that support the practice of law, law firms are slow to see how they could leverage the benefits and high usage of the mobile platform for connecting and enhancing relationships with clients and the media.
So, the question becomes why are large law firms behind the mobile curve? Let review a few (but not exclusive number of) possibilities:
- Law firms are technological laggards. As professional services go, law firms, especially large ones, are not known for being on the leading edge of technology. Law firms typically want a technology to be known and accepted before implementing it themselves. With respect to mobile, the penetration of smartphones into businesses, law firms, and the general population should be enough to demonstrate that mobile platforms are well established. Is any more validation really needed?
- The costs of mobile efforts may be seen as too high. The possible costs associated with mobile development may be causing firms to avoid exploring such efforts. Creating a mobile web site as an adjunct to a firm’s main website requires resources, but not inordinately so. With respect to phone applications, development costs vary significantly depending on the scope of the app. In any event, firms “invest” significant sums of money in all sorts of marketing and business development efforts, such as sponsoring an event or getting published in pay-to-play publications. Firms should see investing in mobile efforts the same way.
- Firms fail to think creatively about how to take advantage of the mobile space. Firms who have undertaken initiatives for mobile apps have created a variety apps: recruiting, legal resources, client communications, firm information/directory, events, publications, and even games. Even so, most firms do not yet appreciate the possibilities of the mobile space.
- Firms fail to appreciate the range of possible users for mobile apps. One might think that the only relevant potential users of mobile apps are clients. However, users for mobile apps are not limited to clients; other potential users include the media and publishers, other members of the legal community, and even a firm’s own attorneys and staff.
- Firms want a certainty of pay-off for the investment. Law firms may not want to devote resources to mobile efforts because there is not significant certainty as to whether there will be a significant pay-off. It is true — there are no guarantees, similar to many other efforts made by firms (e.g., advertising).
The firms mentioned in this report are at the forefront of taking advantage of the mobile channel to connect with clients, prospective clients, and others. We look forward to seeing how firms continue to improve their reach to clients via mobile technologies.
AmLaw 200 Law Firms With Mobile Apps
- Arnold & Porter (A&P Firm App, Consumer Advertising Law Blog App)
- Baker & McKenzie (Cross-Border Listing Handbook, Global Equity Matrix)
- DLA Piper (new)
- Epstein Becker & Green
- Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson
- Gibson Dunn (new)
- Goulston & Storrs
- Lane Powell (new)
- Latham & Watkins (Book of Jargon - Corporate and Bank Finance, Book of Jargon - Project Finance, Book of Jargon - European Capital Markets and Bank Finance, Book of Jargon - Global Restructuring, Book of Jargon – Master Limited Partnerships, Global Merger Regimes)
- Littler Mendelson (Littler, Global Employer Institute )
- Locke Lord Bissell & Liddel
- McKenna Long & Aldridge
- Morrison & Foerster (MoFo2Go, Advance@Work)
- O’Melveny & Myers
- Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
- Shearman & Sterling
- Sidley Austin (new)
- Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
- White & Case
- Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
Global 100 Law Firms With Mobile Apps (global firms in AmLaw not duplicated)
- Allens Arthur Robinson
- Allen & Overy (Allen & Overy, Little Red App)
- Clayton Utz
- Mallesons Stephen Jaques (new)
- Norton Rose
Baker & McKenzie (iTunes) – Cross-Border Listing Handbook
Gibson Dunn (iTunes app store) – Gibson Dunn Careers
Latham & Watkins (iTunes) - Book of Jargon - Master Limited Partnerships
Littler Mendelson (iTunes app store) - 2011 Global Employer Institute
Morrison & Foerster (iTunes) – Advance@Work
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman (iTunes) - PGS ToolBox
White & Case (iTunes app store) – Recruiting (Germany)
Eversheds (iTunes app store) - Eversheds Guide to International Employment and Pensions Law
Mallesons Stephen Jaques (iTunes)