♫ And I could change the world
I could be the sunlight in your universe…♫
The University of Victoria has been asking law students about the technology that they use for the last 12 years. The latest survey, released in September this year, makes for interesting reading. They had a 90+% response rate, which is astounding in and of itself and indicates the depth of the information revealed in their survey.
Their Executive Summary is a nice recap of their results:
- 89% of incoming law students own "Smart Phones" that can browse the internet (up from 84% last year and 50% two years ago), with 48% of the total being iPhones, 29% Android and 11% Blackberry (Blackberry usage down from 27% last year).
- 31% of students own tablet devices or ebook readers, up from 19% last year.
- When it comes to reading school related documents, students report reading those documents in bound books 46% of the time, on laptops 35% of the time, on laser printed pages 16% of the time, and on tablet devices 3% of the time.
- 99% of students own laptops. 49% of laptops are Mac's, and 48% Windows.
- The students’ average typing speed is 49 wpm.
- 68% of all students bring their laptops to school most days.
- 75% of students use laptops to take class notes, 63% use pen and paper, 6% use tablets and 3% use their cell phones.
- 53% of students use Gmail as their primary email account, 7% use UVic email and 20% Hotmail.
- 33% of students identified Google Drive as their favorite tool for collaborative document editing. 22% favor DropBox, 4% Apple iCloud and 3% Microsoft Sky Drive.
- 95% of students use Facebook (down from 97% last year, but up from 91% two years ago), 34% user Twitter, 21% Linked In, 10% Google+ and 4% no online social networks.
This survey has implications for law firms. Their incoming law students will have a good knowledge of Macs and iPads – will this place law firms under pressure to accommodate the greater use of Apple devices into their practices?
The students are tuned into the mobile web. They understand the need to access information where ever they may be.
Many students take their notes on laptops. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end of the legal pad?
Cloud services are clearly accepted…with Gmail just being the tip of the iceberg. These students understand the cloud and the convenience that it brings to their work and their life.
Reading information in electronic form is accepted. They can work from laptops or e-readers and would use them further if legal information was available for download to these devices. This has positive implications for firms contemplating going paperless.
Social media is ingrained. These students are clearly on the younger side of the digital divide. After all, these are the students that will be changing our world…and bringing sunlight into our universe…