It’s fair to say that lawyers are not known for their love of technology. While most (but possibly not all) have moved on from quill and parchment, some may say they are still several decades behind the more trendy sectors when it comes to technological advances. The humble mobile phone is a good illustration of this. Hardly, you might say, a new technological development, but something that gets a decidedly poor reception (yes, pun intended) from solicitors.
A survey by Cable & Wireless polled more than 1,000 UK workers from all sectors about their mobile use. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the legal profession came out as the most grumpy when it comes to this particular telecoms device. Of all the sectors, lawyers were the most likely to resent receiving calls from clients at the weekend, with 67% of lawyers saying they would be unhappy about this, compared to just 33% of HR professionals or 48% of media types. Lawyers were also the least likely to be pleased that a mobile meant they could be easily reached wherever they were, or able to ‘call people back swiftly’.
So, is it fear of having to deliver good client service that lies at the root of lawyers’ aversion to the mobile? Could be. Or it could be simple ineptitude. According to the survey, lawyers have had their fair share of ‘embarrassing accidents’. Some 8% have not put the phone down properly and had the person on the other end hear them talking about them (more than most sectors, but not as bad as those marketing divvies, with 23%). Just under 5% of lawyers said they had sworn or screamed while they thought the mute was on, but it wasn’t. Oops. And 21% had deliberately put the phone down on someone mid-sentence. Hang on – perhaps mobile phones can be quite fun sometimes, after all.