Technology has impacted the legal field in a variety of ways. Firms are implementing technology solutions to help them run their practices. Another way technology has impacted the industry is through the emergence of a new specialization: a tech lawyer. At the most basic level, a tech lawyer is an attorney that deals with clients who produce or manage technology products and services. This definition means that there is a broad range of tech lawyers spanning across a wide range of industries.
Tech lawyers are charged with reviewing the legal implications of technology solutions, whether they’re for internal use or for public sale. The challenge for most attorneys is that technology moves much faster than the law. The legislation has been revised a few times since then, but one area that remains a legal mystery is whether or not websites are considered to be public spaces. More of these cases are turning into lawsuits and case law has been inconsistent.
How to Become a Tech Lawyer
The one thing that makes being a tech lawyer exciting and challenging is that the field is continuously evolving and changing. You need to stay on your toes if you go this route in your legal career.
Understand Your Strengths as an Attorney
You don’t need to be a computer scientist to be a tech lawyer. However, there are certain skills that are better in some situations than others. You want to honestly assess your strengths and then find the specialization that best fits your skills.
Choose a Specialization Within the Specialization
Yes, there are specializations within the specializations of technology law. Technology is broad, and you want to narrow down to an area of law that plays to your strengths. Here are a few areas to explore.
A legal engineer is another way to refer to tech lawyers. Legal engineers are experts in data governance. They take the complexities around data privacy laws and regulations and work with the IT team to make sure that the company is compliant. This is a critical function because noncompliance can result in massive fines for companies.
Intellectual property is a big area for tech companies. Companies want to have an attorney that will protect their intellectual property from theft and knockoffs drowning the market. Canon just won a lawsuit against counterfeiters selling knockoff batteries on eBay. IP law also entails licensing matters. Some companies license their technologies for sale and use. These agreements need to be negotiated.
International Tech Law
Data governance is much more complex at an international level. As governments are becoming more aware of data privacy issues, The General Data Protection Regulation that was passed by the European Union requires that companies that target a European audience comply with the regulation. In the U.S., states are beginning to pass their own data privacy laws and regulations. This will make compliance for any firm incredibly frustrating and complex. Your job as an international tech lawyer is to stay up to date with tech laws around the world and understand how they impact your client.
Employment and Contracts Law
Tech companies are under a great amount of scrutiny over their hiring practices. These companies often rely on contractors to operate. State governments are contending that many of these contractors are actually employees. California’s new law just went into effect and we’re just beginning to see the implications of that law. You’ll need to advise companies whether or not their staff should be classified as employees or how they should work with contractors.
As a tech lawyer, you’re likely to represent large organizations that have extensive knowledge of emerging tech issues. In a sense, there are high expectations from your clients to make sure that your own IT infrastructure is efficient and secure. It’s part of the process to build trust and to show that you understand technology issues well. As your practice and reputation grow as a tech lawyer, you may become a target yourself for cyberattacks. You have to be on guard and make sure that your practice is protected. A data breach of any kind could be damaging and difficult to recover from.
Why do people need an IT lawyer?
If you have a website with a simple design which hardly processes any personal data, you may just as well write your own data protection notice or have it prepared by an online generator. But some websites involve very intensive personal data processing mechanisms. In this case, the IT lawyer must, first of all, understand the technology behind the website, i.e. an attorney must know, in detail, which data is being processed, how and where. So sometimes, they need to conduct intensive research and ask many people besides the owner of the website, including the website programmer, the designer, the administrator or the programmer of the webshop software used on the website, etc.
Types of Lawyers
Whatever your legal problem, there’s likely an attorney who specializes in dealing specifically with your particular legal issue. If you’ve been trying to find a lawyer to help you solve your specific legal problem, you’ve probably realized there are many different types of lawyers. The legal field is vast and complex and you’ll find that many lawyers specialize in a particular area of law. If you find yourself in need of a lawyer, make sure they have the expertise to handle your unique situation. Because there are so many different types of lawyers, you’ll want to match your legal concern with the appropriate attorney.
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident, for example, a car accident; the type of lawyer you’ll want to see is a personal injury lawyer. These types of attorneys specialize in obtaining compensation in the form of damages for injuries caused by other parties.
Estate Planning Lawyer
The estate planning lawyer specializes in wills and trusts, and can help you to draw up a will to pass on your assets. Among other estate planning legal services, this type of lawyer can help you set up a trust which will help take care of your children’s financial needs.
If you’re having financial difficulties and are contemplating bankruptcy proceedings, you’ll want to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. This type of lawyer can advise you on your eligibility for bankruptcy, the types of bankruptcy you’ll want to consider and which type would be best for your particular circumstances, as well as any potential alternatives to bankruptcy which you may want to explore.
Intellectual Property Lawyer
Also known as an IP attorney, an intellectual property lawyer can advise you with regard to issues relating to intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design and trade secrets.
Whether you’re a company that’s having a problem with an employee, or an individual who’s having problems with the company you work for, an employment lawyer can generally provide advice about legal issues which arise from an employment contract or within an employment relationship.
If you own a corporation, you’ll likely find yourself consulting with a corporate attorney on many different occasions. A corporate lawyer will be able to help you with issues related to the formation of your corporation, general corporate governance issues and corporate compliance issues.
When you’re dealing with immigration issues, you’ll want to consult with an immigration lawyer. This type of lawyer should be well versed in dealing with immigration issues such as visas, citizenship, refugee or asylum and green cards.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, a criminal lawyer is the type of lawyer you should turn to. A criminal lawyer will be knowledgeable in areas related to criminal law, including issues related to bail, arraignment, arrest, pleas and any issues relating to the criminal trial itself.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors do occasionally make mistakes, and if you’re facing the consequences of a medical mistake such as a medical misdiagnosis or inaccurate treatment, a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice issues can be particular helpful.
Getting into trouble with the IRS is no fun. A tax attorney specializes in the many intricacies of federal, state and local tax laws, and should be able to provide advice on the particular tax issue you face.
Whether you’re in need of a prenuptial agreement, engaged in divorce proceedings or involved in a child custody or spousal support battle, a family lawyer is the type of lawyer who’ll be best equipped to guide you through the process which lies before you.
Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve been injured while on the job, or have had to face the death of a loved one as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease, a lawyer who specializes in workers compensation law can help you navigate the issues you face, such as the extent of the employer’s fault and the amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
A contract lawyer specializes in the handling of issues arising from contracts, and can be consulted for a wide range of contract-related issues. Whether you’re unsure if you should sign a particular contract, or if something has gone wrong with a contract you’ve already signed, an attorney who specializes in contracts is the type of lawyer who should have the experience and expertise required to help you resolve your contractual issues.
Social Security Disability Lawyer
The Social Security Disability system can be a particularly complex system in which to navigate. An attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability issues can help you with any step in the Social Security Disability process, including assisting you with eligibility issues, launching an appeal of a decision to deny you benefits and dealing with the reduction or termination of your benefits.
Civil Litigation Lawyer
Suing someone, or responding to someone’s lawsuit against you? An attorney who specializes in civil litigation will be your best legal option. You may also find that different attorneys will specialize in different litigation areas as well. For example, a corporate litigation lawyer should have the expertise to help you with commercial litigation issues.
General Practice Lawyer
Unlike lawyers who specialize in a particular area of law, a general practice lawyer has a practice that handles a wide range of legal issues. Different general practice attorneys will have different areas of law with which they are most comfortable, so if you consult with a general practice lawyer, it’s always prudent to discuss his or her experience in handling the type of legal issue you’re facing.
There are many different types of lawyers available in the legal marketplace today. When you’re looking for legal help to deal with an issue you’re facing, it’s a good idea to find a lawyer who is experienced in the specific area of law with which you’re dealing.
IT law, ICT law or Cyber law
There are many terms that describe the area of law an attorney specializes in:
• ICT law, IT law, information technology law, technology law, tech law, computer law,
• electronic law (or elaw),
• social or new media law, digital media law,
• Internet law, cyber law, and web law.
In many parts of the world, ICT law is referred to as information technology law or IT law. Sometimes it is referred to as technology law. There is no single body of law which can be called ICT law. It is a distinct field of law that comprises elements of various branches of the law, originating under various acts or statutes of Parliament and the common law, like:
• contract law
• consumer protection law
• criminal law
• patent law
• copyright law
• trade mark law
• intellectual property law
• banking law
• privacy and data protection law
• freedom of expression law
• tax law
• telecommunications law
• work or labour law
• the law of evidence
Technology law is the body of law that governs the use of technology. It is an area of law that oversees both public and private use of technology. The practice of technology law can mean a lot of different things depending on whether the attorney works for the government or works in private industry. Technology law covers all of the ways that modern devices and methods of communication impact society.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506