Like it or not, remote work is coming to the legal world. Even among law firms, where I am repeatedly reminded that adoption of technology tends to lag behind other workplaces and industries, the development of policies to accommodate work performed away from the office appears to be a notable trend. In part, this is being driven by increasing numbers of millennials in the legal workforce. According to a 2019 Deloitte survey, nearly 75% of millennials think a “work-from-home” or “work remotely” policy is important. But the changing perspective is also very likely a function of a broader transition in the legal industry toward technology-enabled efficiency.

As the CEO of a legal technology firm, I am reminded by the young lawyers I regularly interact with that, when it comes to mobile technology, their work lives are often conducted with less efficiency than their personal lives. They tell me, for example, that most litigators still carry folders containing case documents every time they enter a courtroom. Many take notes by hand and then type them up later, or have staff do it for them. They may be able to email documents between the courtroom and the office (a practice that presents security risks) but they typically have no way to directly upload or download case documents between a mobile device and the firm’s document management system.