Developing a Career in Technology Law
Technology Law the Basis for the Paradigm Shift in Virtual Era
Career Expert & Blogger
Technology Law is now the basis for the paradigm shift in the legal profession as law offices could now be situated in the virtual world and court proceedings could be conducted remotely. Also, it is one of the emerging areas of law that most law graduates and undergraduate are yet to mine. So, this blog is for the Tech-law enthusiasts where, I have highlighted the career & Job prospects.
DEVELOPING A CAREER IN TECHNOLOGY LAW
The effect of technology on the practice of law is persuasive. This niche should not be outrageous to you in that you should be always aware that law cut across every sphere of life.
As innovations and development stem out of the socialization and mental exercise of human, there will always be a need for rules and regulations for justice. Just as this area of law is relatively new, without doubt, there will be knowledge-gap and only the expert will be relevant. The traditional areas of law are still very relevant. However, considering the future of work and technology, it will be apposite to be grounded in technology law so as to complement the existing knowledge and never be left redundant.
Unfortunately, some could not still distinguish between legal technology (legal-tech) and techno law (techno law). Thinking the duo are the same, thereby uses them interchangeably.
Difference between Legal Technology and Technology Law:
Legal-tech is mainly the use of technology tools to aid legal services. It is a general term used to describe the technology adopted by legal practitioners and law firms for effective and efficient services to their client. The main essential examples of this technology are BlockChain and Artificial Intelligence. On the other hand, technology law is a practice that addresses the legal issues arising from the product and services that stem out of the use of technology. Good examples of this include issues relating to licensing, software, intellectual property, technology transfer, and telecommunication. It is also primarily concerned with establishing a framework for the collection, storage and usage of personal information of individuals on the internet.
The synergy between them for productivity:
Albeit, these two terms may be different, they work hand-in-hand. As lawyers resort to the technology to ease the harshness brought by the mechanical practice of law, so also, technology lawyer provides services on legal issues arising from the use of technology products. Unwavering, taking a career in technology law will demand the combination of legal-tech skill and the knowledge of technology law and policies.
Career in Technology Law:
Currently, the market for law and technology is heating up but without requisite knowledge and experience, getting a job may be difficult. This also applies to taking up a career in Technology law. Techno-Law, though a new field has its basis on the knowledge of commercial law. This is because it revolves around issues ranging from intellectual property, software licensing, e-contract and cyber security. It is the knowledge of commercial law that will help a technology lawyer to understand the necessary element of contractual agreement, how it should be drafted and the implication of non-compliance. For instance, the understanding of warranty, how it works and how it can affect a particular e-contract.
Apart from the primary knowledge of the law, the following are the necessary well of knowledge an aspirant need to drink from:
- Intellectual Property
- Cyber Security
- Data Analytics
- Forensic Evidence
- Data protection and compliance
However, knowing well that the technology law is wide, your area of specialization will determine the course of study. A data protection compliance officer will need to be well-grounded in the field of Data Protection and Privacy and Policies of his country likewise for professional services for software developers, there is a need for indebt understanding of Intellectual Property.
It is important to note that, for every area of technology law listed above, there is no limit to the height of studies. You may start learning from the free online course (with or without certificate) and you may take professional courses especially a Master’s programme in any relevant University. Qualifying certificate is also important to function as a technology lawyer in some instances. And for update and motivations in the chosen field, it is apposite that you join any professional body that will be helpful. For instance, for the Data privacy and protection and the International Association of Privacy Professional are very relevant.
Technology Law Courses:
1. Legal Innovation & Technology Certificate Program.
Location: This program is fully online and offered by Suffolk University Law School, which is in Boston, MA, USA
Type of Course: certificate program for legal professionals
2. Master in Legal-tech and Tech-Law.
Location: Online, and offered by IE Law School, Silicon valley
Type of Course: Masters – Blended
3. Information Technology law course.
Location: Banaras Hindu University (India), National Law University Kolkata (India)
Type of Course: Diploma
4. Cyber Law, Fintech Regulation and Technology contract course.
Location: Law Sikho (India)
Type of Course: Diploma
Prospect in tech law:
Several career opportunities is opened to technology lawyers especially those who are not interested in litigation include:
- In-house Technology Lawyer:
The role of technology lawyer cannot be overemphasized in technology firms, telecommunication industries, banks and some other companies which deal with individual’s data and marketing of technology product. As an in-house technology lawyer, there is a need to anticipate frameworks and regulations on technology product since the tech industry experience sporadic changes every day. He gives relevant legal advice on relevant regulations and ensures compliance.
- Private Practice:
Just like other areas of law, a technology lawyer can set up a private firm where he provides services on issues emerging from technology law and when necessary represent his client in dispute resolution.
As a lawyer who has discovered a niche in technology law, you can be a thought leader and can also take up a lecturing job in any University with the technology law department. And from there, you can create a path for yourself and rise to the peak of your career as a professor of technology law.
- Others may choose to work voluntarily for non-profit organizations.
Venturing into technology law is a great option for new wigs especially in the country where the legal arena is dominated by the bigwigs. As one of the emerging areas of law, creating a path in the technology law could be a way of circumventing the bizarre queue to the pinnacle of a legal career.