By Ani Torossian • April 28, 2018•Writers in Residence
Spring signifies renewal and recharging. It is also an apt time to retune and make sure you are able to catch up with the ever-changing landscape of legal tech topics. The following serves as a mini guide on how best to not only learn about tech+law but also to remain in the loop on new discussions and job prospects.
There are various news pages, blogs, and websites that offer you the opportunity to be knowledgeable when it comes to developments in the tech sphere. Certain apps such as Feedly serve to aggregate news based on the subjects that interest you. Taking some time to set up and tailor your news feed to preferences such as legal tech news can prove to be very worthwhile in the efficiency with which you can then catch major news -- and more niche -- headlines. If a particular legal tech case interests you, don't forget that Google gives you the option to set up a news alert for a particular search key term. I have used this in the past as a way to stay updated on the trajectory of specific cases I was following.
And here is a non-exhaustive list of some sites that might prove beneficial in helping you stay updated in the legal tech world:
One of the best ways you can showcase your interest in the legal tech sphere is networking. Meeting experts in the field and being around those who share your interests can help you find inspiration and motivation. Most of all, it can propel you toward the right mentors. Do not be afraid to send out "cold-call" emails to professionals you admire. Keep the email messages short and courteous, but use the space to express your enthusiasm for the possibility of setting up brief informational interviews with practitioners, professors, and anyone else from whom you can learn. An important but often overlooked part of networking and professional development is attending events focused on your subject area. For instance, those who are interested in the legal tech sector should be mindful of two upcoming events listed below. Even if you don't have the time or the means to be present at these events, you can follow along through social media or by touching base with some of the organizers and participants to learn more.
- You can read about the Evolve Law Summit here. It will take place in Chicago, IL on May 2nd.
- Information on the Global Legal Hackathon can be found here. They just wrapped up announcing the winners at the inaugural event this year, but they'll be back next year with dates set for February 22-24, 2019.
Internships also go hand-in-hand with mentorship and successful networking. Landing the right internship is as much passion as it is preparation. Seek out work opportunities that are not just prestigious but also ones that you are truly interested in and are willing to invest your time in. There have been times I chose the prestigious post over something that sounded a bit more interesting but unorthodox. And there have been times I opted for what truly sounded interesting to me as opposed to what others thought sounded like the right thing to do. I can say with confidence that I never regretted taking on the less prestigious internship opportunity over something that looked better on a resume. You should be mindful of that in your decision-making. And, above all, you should do your homework to make sure your application net covers all the opportunities that appeal to you. Seek out resources online that can help guide you in the right direction. Oftentimes, law schools have various guidebooks available for free online with listings of internship opportunities organized by the type of law that interests you. Numerous organizations with a technology spin can be found in such ways. Do not forget to reach out to those who can offer help: there are those who have walked this path before you and there are those who are eager to give you advice and insights.
As always, please let me know if you have any comments or want to chat! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org