How Does an Attorney Break into the LegalTech World?

Andrew Arruda
December 17, 2018

In what has been an ongoing conversation, this morning Elanasarah asked me the following, often asked but seldom answered question:  How does an attorney break in to the LegalTech world?  This post summarizes my answers on how to get into this bourgeoning space.  LegalTech folks what do you think?

  • Purely legal positions at LegalTech companies are few and far between.  In-house counsel positions and subject matter experts are needed, but such positions are scarce and generally reserved for senior attorneys (i.e. those who have been practicing for 15+ years).
  • However, cross-functional attorneys are in high demand.  Are you an attorney who has experience in sales?  Customer success?  Marketing?  Product management?  If so, you’re exactly who legal tech startups such as ROSS Intelligence need.  Emphasize your dual skills in applications.  Supplement your skills with blog posts, an active twitter account, and other suggestions from Paragraphs 3-5 below.
  • Not yet a cross-functional attorney? Become one. Find a skill that you enjoy or feel comfortable pursuing and pursue it.  Take classes or read books on marketing or sales or product management or customer success.
  • Get noticed.  Write blogs and ask questions to the LegalTech community about your dual skills.  Tag leaders in the space and have conversations.  Own it.
  • Become familiar with Legal Tech tools. You can’t break into Legal Tech without some familiarity of the landscape, understanding different tools and functions, and learning how they can optimize a law practice. Try ROSS out for free to get your first legal tech tool under your belt.
  1. Once you’ve become a cross-functional attorney, contact LegalTech start-ups and emphasize that you are a lawyer trained in [Fill in the blank].  Tell them you’d love to talk.  Share your ideas and work product with them (think articles, portfolio, etc.).  Volunteer to start working on a discrete project or in a supporting role at their company.
  2. Apply for positions.  In so doing, emphasize your dual expertise.  Cite to your work, explain your ideas.

In short, cross-functional attorneys are highly sought after in the new and expanding LegalTech field.  They are what the industry needs.  Some such dually-skilled attorneys are developing as leaders in their space, but there remain a plethora of opportunities for more voices.  Methods for successful marketing and product development in legal tech are materializing, but the industry is still making mistakes due to a lack of established procedures.  There is room for improvement and leadership.  If you want to break in, you can.  Learn it. Own it. Then pursue it.

Andrew Arruda

CEO & Co-Founder of ROSS Intelligence. International speaker on the subjects of AI, legal technology, & entrepreneurship and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, BBC, Wired, Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc., Forbes, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times.