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Research points to high level of information overload among UK lawyers

More than half of legal professionals in the UK (58%) believe the quality of their work is suffering because they cannot sort through the information they need fast enough, according to research by LexisNexis.

The survey – part of a study of 600 legal professionals in the UK, USA, China, Australia and South Africa – also found that in the UK:

  • Eight in ten legal professionals (83%) say that the amount of information they have had to manage for their jobs has increased in the last five years
  • Almost half (46%) feel demoralised when they cannot manage all of the information they receive at work
  • Two-thirds (66%) wish they could spend less time organising, and more time using, the information that comes their way
  • Six in ten (58%) believe they would be more productive if they did not have to switch back and forth between applications to get their work done.

Legal professionals in the UK also spend more than half of their time (55%) receiving and managing rather than using information. This is higher than their peers in Australia (54%), South Africa (51%), the USA (49%) and China (47%).

The research also shows that a majority of lawyers are being offered training in information management, and that more than half (61%) are allowed to work off site.

Rob Farquharson, Director of LexisNexis Connect UK & Ireland, said: “Workers across the globe are just about managing to keep their heads above water in a rising tide of information. The results of this survey reveal not just how widespread the problem is, but also the very real impact that information overload has on professionals’ and the bottom line.

“Employers need to do more than throw a life line in the shape of faster PCs. They need to invest in practical solutions that aid the flow and prioritisation of information.”