Technology continues to change the way in which we conduct business, communicate with one another and practice law. With each new development comes new legal issues. While traditional law firms may be slow to adapt to the evolving needs of tech clients, recent law school graduates have a great opportunity to leverage their legal skills and develop a career in the tech world. New jobs in tech open every day, and many of them are positions in which having a law degree can be seen as an asset.
However, these jobs may not be classified as “legal” or even “J.D. preferred,” making it difficult to know what to look for when searching for a job in technology. If you are interested in starting your law career in the ever-changing world of technology, below is a list of five legal tech jobs that new lawyers may qualify for.
Tech Jobs For Lawyers
1. Legal Operations
Technology, process and people are what create efficient and well-run corporate departments. That is also true for in-house legal counsel. Legal operations professionals work to maximize an in-house legal team’s performance within a company. They typically report to General Counsel, and work alongside them to ensure that they are efficient with their time and budgets. Legal operations professionals may also be involved in managing vendors and the application of new technologies.
2. Legal Solutions Architect
You may have heard the term legal solutions architect and wondered what, exactly, do they do? Within a law firm, a legal solutions architect applies their knowledge of technology, management, business and process to drive the firm’s innovative approach to the practice of law and delivery of its services. This may entail design thinking to determine what processes should be implemented, and what technology should be used, to improve the functions of the firm. Most importantly, a legal solutions architect builds a law firm ecosystem that enhances the client experience.
3. Data Analyst
In the legal world, companies such as Lex Machina, Ravel Law and Premonition are using court and judicial data to help lawyers predict the outcomes of legal matters using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Critical to accomplishing this amazing feat are data analysts with knowledge of the law.
When you think about who becomes a data analyst, you may think it is someone who is good at math or science. While those skills are helpful, many of the skills that lawyers develop during law school are similarly helpful in performing the functions of a data analyst.
Data analysts are responsible for gathering information from various sources to interpret data and trends. After studying those trends, data analysts will interpret their findings to aid the business in sound decision making and strategy. It is a highly analytical role – much like practicing law.
4. Privacy Manager
For law graduates interested in privacy law, there is an explosion of career opportunities within corporate privacy departments. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, has led to an immense need for professionals with a strong understanding of privacy laws. However, knowledge of these laws is not common, making this a niche and potentially lucrative area of practice.
Privacy lawyers provide a variety of services. Some may work within a corporate setting, helping the company navigate complex compliance matters and privacy issues. Other privacy lawyers may work for large law firms, and handle litigation related to privacy law. The work of a privacy attorney ranges from updating website privacy policies all the way up to assisting large corporations create a company-wide compliance program.
5. Compliance Manager
Law school graduates are taught to solve problems, communicate effectively and how to read the law. Although compliance is not technically a legal role, these skills are directly applicable to functions of a compliance manager.
Unlike general counsel, which may provide legal opinions about certain matters affecting a business, compliance managers do not interpret the law. Rather, their duty is to enforce regulations, educate colleagues and create an ethical corporate environment. Still, compliance managers are expected to stay up to date on the latest developments in the law in order to advise on risks and ensure that the business is not in violation of various regulations and laws.
Where To Find Legal Jobs in Technology
There are many other careers in technology available to law school graduates, however, identifying these roles and applying for them may be more difficult than searching your law school’s job board. If you are interested in learning more about legal positions in technology, there is a wealth of resources available on legal tech websites such as Right Brain Law, Artificial Lawyer and LawSites. These websites frequently post information about emerging legal technologies and new roles that require a unique combination of technological knowledge, business acumen and legal education.