b'8 Local Government Lawyergoing management of remote staff is going toTable 6: Of the following types of technology, how has each performed during lockdown? require some adjustments on all sides. (Management survey)Tech teething troubles 2%So how has the technology available toOnline research tools 46% 52%legal teams coped with the lockdown? Even allowing for the rapidity of the lockdown,Video conferencing 42% 52% 6%the answer seems to be good, but not great, with both practice and matter management2%software damned by faint praise althoughOnline training/webinars 42% 56%there is some evidence that the deployment16%of technology has improved as lockdown hasPraccal guidance tools 16% 66% 2%progressed. 4%Specialist legal software tends to be lessPracce management soware 12% 46% 35%well-regarded than applicationssuch as the4%much-praised Microsoft TeamsdesignedDocument automaon 10% 33% 4% 53%for general use. Online research, video4%conferencing (especially Microsoft Teams)Maer management soware 10% 54% 29%and training tools do much better, with over4%90% approval ratings from management and similar from other staff. DocumentSuperbly Adequately Poorly Inadequately Not usedautomation is only used by a minority but where it is used, most respondents consider it to be useful. Table 7: Of the following types of technology, how has each performed during lockdown? (General survey)Amongst management, most technology applications were considered to need either3%some or significant improvements (Table 56%Online training/webinars 40% 47% 3%and 6), although very few were regarded as3%inadequate. Video conferencing 32% 56% 7% 2%On average, rank and file staff were less impressed with the technology on offerOnline research tools 32% 62% 2% 3%than management (Table 7), with 27% rating matter management systems as poor or3% 1%inadequate. Amongst staff, almost 20%Praccal guidance tools 12% 48% 6% 31%say that the available technology does not adequately support remote working (SeeDocument automaon 6% 32% 9% 6% 46%Table 3 on page 5). The sheer enormity of getting 70+ staff,Maer management soware 6% 39% 18% 9% 29%the majority of whom were not that IT savvy, out of the office to home working within aPracce management soware 5% 33% 11% 7% 44%week of the PMs lockdown announcement was a major challenge, said one head of legal. The scale of what was necessary was way beyond business continuity planning.Superbly Adequately Poorly (works but a hindranceInadequately Not usedMatter management systems are key toto producvity)successful remote working and came in for quite a lot of criticism. More surprisingly,toolsare perceived as more practical andCommon complaints and requests included almost a third (29%) of heads of legal doeffective than those that have to be accessedthe need for larger (and often multiple) not use matter management software andvia the authoritys own network. And therescreens, better printers and scanners and, in approaching half (44%) have not used practicewere a number of requests from respondentsmany cases, better internet connectivity and management software. for matter management systems to be mademore reliable VPN networks. The IT support Working remotely means not creating aavailable directly through the cloud as well. provided by many councils also came in for hard file and therefore it is critical we haveMost of the issues we have experiencedsome criticism.a program in place for officers to createwith our case management system is due toI found it difficult to work on the small effective electronic files, said one lawyer.slowness of use of it via remote access andlaptop screen compared to dual large This is widely used in bigger councils andnot the CMS itself, said one head of legal. monitors, and had to wait a month for a private law firms but were a bit behind here. When asked what would improve themonitor, said one. I also did not have access There is also a common theme that thoseremote working experience, lawyers wereto a printer so had to read lengthy commercial applications which are accessed directly frommore likely to reference hardware anddocuments on the screen.the internetsuch as research and trainingconnectivity issues rather than software.I think the most frustrating aspect is not'