Careers for the 21st century law Graduates


Career for Law Graduates

New roles for tech-savvy law graduates are popping up everywhere. The law graduates are having a wide range of non-traditional law career with tremendous growth prospects.

You might not have pictured yourself working in London’s Tech City, but startups and tech companies are eager for law graduates.

Even in a profession as traditional as law, technology is powerful enough to kill and create a range of roles.

Law firms didn’t increase the number of graduate vacancies every year, but jobs in IT and telecommunications have rocketed.

The number of entry-level posts at tech companies was up 17.9% in 2014 compared with 2013, according to the High Fliers annual review of the graduate market worldwide. New career paths for law graduates within this sector are being forged all the time.

So if you’re a law graduate with your finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving tech industry, you have a career options out there.

“Advances in technology mean law graduates have new opportunities to specialise in areas like intellectual property, privacy, and software and business method patents,” says Lindsy McGowan, senior manager at Hays Legal.

“Recent high profile security breaches, personal identity thefts and data thefts have created demand for this area of law, as businesses prioritise safeguarding customer and business information.”

If you have a passion for what’s new in tech, the sector needs people with a legal background to provide up-to-date information and interpret the law for new products.

New concepts like driverless cars and the internet of things – whereby buildings and public services will be connected to people via smart phones – mean technology is changing at a faster rate than the law.

Companies therefore require additional legal advice to ensure that what they do complies with existing legislation.

“It’s an interesting area because there isn’t much in the law – it’s all brand new. So you have to apply traditional legal systems – for example, on the flow of data, to new things,” explains Darren Jones.

After graduating from the University of Law, Bristol, Jones got his training contract at equity firm and qualified last year. He is now a solicitor in the technology, media and communications team at Bond Dickinson.

“My personal interest is in smart city technologies,” he says. “The idea is to make urban environments more sustainable through things being connected, like waste management. It’s increasingly relevant globally.”

In China, for example, 100 new smart cities are planned to be built over the next 15 years. India is also in the path of building few smart cities within the next few decades.

With so many people owning smart phones, and technology creators collecting more and varied personal data, this need for application of the law is vital.

“Data protection is a big area of our work and it crosses over all teams,” says Andy Moseby, corporate partner at Kemp Little. “It used to just be operational work – as long as a company knew what information it needed to collect and how it could market that data that was all the law required.

“Now it covers everything from data security to the types of personal data that’s collected.” This includes things like your shopping habits and geo-location when you place an order or connect to a company’s app.

“It’s trying to see what the law requires you to do to protect that information, but it’s also advising from a commercial perspective so companies can monetise that information,” says Moseby.

So what do you need to land a legal job in the technology sector? It’s not enough for graduates to understand the law – you need to know how businesses work from a technological point of view, says Moseby.

An awareness and understanding of business is also key if you want to work for the new breed of online law firms.

The deregulation of providers means a wider range of organisations can provide legal services. And as business and law collide, there is a greater need for employers to find tech-savvy, entrepreneurial law students.

Rocket Lawyer, a subscription-based online legal services provider, is a technology firm that provides pre-prepared documents and legal advice from experts at participating firms. People can arrange to speak to a personal lawyer online or in person.

Founded in San Francisco, the company set up shop in London’s tech city, Shoreditch, two years ago. It needs law graduates to fill the sort of roles you’d typically find at startups and tech companies.

Producing and editing its website copy, for example, requires literate graduates with technological and legal knowledge.

Rocket Lawyer also has more technical roles that require both a law degree and computer know-how. “Lawyers are very methodical, detailed people with strong analytical skills,” says Mark Edwards, general manager of the company’s UK arm. This enables them to work particularly well with computers.

The company relies on legal knowledge engineers to create online questionnaires – which assess a client’s needs and gives them relevant information – and produce legal documents.

It also employs legal process analysts to deconstruct the job of a lawyer into steps to make them automated, saving the firm time and money.

As a company that’s growing in the UK, Rocket Lawyer has also recently hired a legal digital marketing specialist.

Edwards explains: “We’ve taken on a law graduate and we’re training them in the marketing skills they need, rather than teaching a marketing graduate about law. No other graduates could do these roles for us.”

Similarly in India also up until recently, the legal profession experienced few if any dramatic changes in how they operate. However and in the last few years, the rise of new technologies combined with the renewed drive to cut costs in the wake of the global downturn has increasingly forced law firms and corporate legal departments alike to reevaluate how they operate and to consider outsourcing the more mundane tasks associated with the legal profession.

This has led to the rise of legal process outsourcing (LPO) along with numerous new and unfamiliar firms, many of which are based offshore, to specialize in providing LPO services to both law firms and corporate legal departments just like UK and USA.

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) refers to a law firm or corporate legal department obtaining legal support services from an external law firm or legal support services firm. Typically, a lawyer will contract either directly or indirectly through an intermediary with an individual or a firm to perform various legal support related services.

Following are the important services of LPO:

  • Bookkeeping and billing
  • Contract management
  • Contract review
  • Data analysis and management
  • Document drafting
  • Document production
  • Due diligence
  • General litigation support services
  • E-Discovery
  • Intellectual Property (IP) services
  • Legal research
  • Legal transcription

According to our analysis, the following firms are currently top 10 LPO providers in India are:

  1. Bodhi Global Services (P), Ltd.
  2. Clutch Group
  3. Cobra Legal Solutions, LLC
  4. CPA Global Ltd.
  5. Integreon Managed Solutions, Inc.
  6. LawScribe, Inc.
  7. Mindcrest
  8. Pangea3
  9. Quislex
  10. UnitedLex

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