University of Victoria Law Student Technology Survey

As he does each year at about this time, Rich McCue tipped us to the fact that the results of his survey of incoming law students are now online. The University of Victoria Law Student Technology Survey has run for ten years now, providing a nifty picture of how things are changing for law students — so far as technology is concerned. The executive summary of this year’s survey, which had a whopping 90% response rate, is as follows:

  • 96% of incoming law students own “Smart Phones” that can browse the internet (up from 89% last year and 50% three years ago), with 54% of the total being iPhones, 31% Android and 11% Blackberry (Blackberry usage is down from 27% two years ago). New law students are primarily using their mobile devices for directions, email, and looking up schedules & contact information.
  • Tablet & eBook ownership have doubled in the past year with 44% of students owning tablet devices or ebook readers, up from 31% last year. That said, 64% of students never bring their tablet or ebook reader to school, probably indicating a preference for laptops for note taking and research, and still heavy reliance on printed text books.
  • When asked if they would use a library run tablet lending program, 53% said they would not use it while 18% said they would use it daily or weekly.
  • 92% of students use Skype for real-time audio/video calls and collaboration. 42% use Apple Facetime and 9% use Google Hangouts.
  • 59% of students use Gmail as their primary email account, 22%, and 6% use UVic email. Of the 6% of UVic email users, half forward their email to another service. It will be interesting to see if the recent NSA data snooping revelations will impact students’ current preference for USA based email providers in the coming years.
  • 49% of students identified Dropbox as their favourite tool for collaborative document editing, up from 22% last year. 41% use Google drive, up from 33% last year. 15% use Apple iCloud up from 4%. 3% use Microsoft Sky Drive which is unchanged from last year.
  • 92% of students use Facebook (down from 97% two years ago), 31% user Twitter, 19% Linked In, 8% Google+ and 3% don’t use online social networks.
  • 97% of students own laptops. 57% of laptops are Macs, up from 49% last year. 44% use Windows, down from 48% last year.
  • 68% of students bring their laptops to school regularly & 21% bring them never or rarely.
  • 73% of students use laptops to take class notes, 72% use pen and paper, 3% use tablets and 4% use cell phones. 11% record lecture audio with their laptops or audio recorder

For the details, head on over to Rich’s site where you’ll also find helpful graphs and charts.

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