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Legal IT Job Description

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 8 Jan 2024

Legal IT

  • The remit of Legal IT covers a multitude of jobs, from eDiscovery Specialists, to Legal IT Managers and Front End Developers, working in unison to provide technological services and expertise to law firms, legal departments, and legal professionals. Within this Legal IT Job Description, we will detail the responsibilities of those working in Legal IT, how much Legal IT professionals earn, and what a day in the life of a role in Legal IT entails.

  • What’s involved in Legal IT?

    Legal information technology (Legal IT) encompasses the use of technology to support and enhance the practice of law and the operations of legal organisations. Those in Legal IT jobs play a crucial role in improving efficiency, organisation, and communication across the legal field. It’s apt to note that as a profession, Legal IT is continuously evolving in line with advancing technology. It is therefore vital for law firms and legal professionals to stay competitive and ahead of the game, adjusting to newfound generative AI, developing softwares, and upskilling staff to compensate for the changing landscape of IT.

  • What does a role in Legal IT entail?

    The broad remit of roles in Legal IT demonstrate the diverse skill set required to work in the field, encompassing legal knowledge, technology expertise, project management skills, and the ability to understand and address the unique challenges faced by legal professionals and organisations. Each role under the umbrella of Legal IT will have its own day to day specialties, with Legal Software Developers / Engineers, for example, focusing on creating and maintaining software applications tailored to the specific needs of legal professionals; and, Cybersecurity Analysts in the legal sector focusing on protecting sensitive legal information from unauthorised access, data breaches, and other cybersecurity threats.

    As a basis, key aspects of a Legal IT job will include working with:

    Case Management Systems:

    • With those in Lawyer jobs, Solicitor jobs, and Paralegal jobs, often dealing with a large volume of cases, it’s essential that they have a water tight case management system to work with. Case management systems help organise and track case-related information, documents, deadlines, and communications, with Legal IT specialists tasked with building, and maintaining the system.

    Document Management:

    • Overseeing the systems curated for managing and storing legal documents. This involves version control, document sharing, and ensuring the security and integrity of sensitive information.

    Electronic Discovery (eDiscovery):

    • eDiscovery involves the identification, collection, and management of electronically stored information (ESI) during the legal process. eDiscovery tools assist in reviewing and analysing large volumes of digital data.

    Legal Research Tools:

    • Technology has transformed legal research, with online databases, search engines, and legal research platforms providing quick access to statutes, case law, and other legal resources.

    Practice Management Software:

    • These systems help law firms manage their day-to-day operations, including timekeeping, billing, client management, and other administrative tasks.

    Cybersecurity:

    • Given the sensitive nature of legal information, cybersecurity is a critical aspect of Legal IT. This includes measures to protect client data, secure communication channels, and prevent unauthorised access.

    Client Portals:

    • Law firms and in-house legal departments often use client portals to facilitate communication with clients, allowing them to securely access documents, case updates, and other relevant information.

    Collaboration Tools:

    • Legal IT involves the use of collaboration tools that enable seamless communication and cooperation among legal professionals, whether they are in the same office or working remotely.

    Legal Analytics:

    • Data analytics tools can be employed to extract insights from legal data, helping lawyers make more informed decisions and predictions based on past legal outcomes.

    Courtroom Technology:

    • This includes the use of technology in the courtroom, such as electronic filing systems, digital presentation tools, and video conferencing for remote appearances.

    Compliance and Regulatory Technology (RegTech):

    • Legal IT also involves tools to ensure compliance with legal regulations and standards, automating compliance processes and monitoring changes in legal requirements.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation:

    • AI tools can assist in legal research, document review, and other repetitive tasks. This arguably increases efficiency by handling routine processes. With companies and law firms rethinking the way they operate, a recent Goldman Sachs report announcing that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs, and workplace habits being steadily influenced by new AI technology, it’s essential that those working in Legal IT adjust to the changing landscape of IT.
    • Wherein a ‘changing landscape’ can seem like a daunting term, AI has proven to be one of the best tools available to empower the next generation of software developers by redefining efficiency and lowering barriers to entry. This in turn, changes the way developers work while ultimately increasing demand for already highly sought-after professionals.

  • How do you gain a job in Legal IT?

    Obtaining a job in Legal IT requires a combination of education, skills development, and practical experience. We’ve incorporated a few steps below that you can take to pursue a career in Legal IT:

    Educational Background:

    • Secure a relevant educational background, such as a degree in information technology, computer science, legal studies, or a related field. Some roles in the Legal IT field may require a legal background, while others prioritise IT expertise.
    • The level of education required will also vary depending on the seniority, and type of role.

    Legal Knowledge:

    • Developing a foundational understanding of legal processes, terminology, and the unique challenges faced by legal professionals will stand you in good stead. Consider taking courses in legal studies or gaining experience through internships in law firms or legal departments.

    Technical Skills:

    • Acquire technical skills relevant to Legal IT, such as proficiency in legal software, eDiscovery tools, database management, cybersecurity, and project management. Familiarise yourself with legal research databases and other industry-specific technologies.

    Certifications:

    • Consider obtaining relevant certifications to enhance your credibility and demonstrate your expertise. Certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS), and Project Management Professional (PMP) can be valuable in Legal IT.

    Build a Strong IT Skillset:

    • Develop skills in programming, database administration, system administration, and other IT-related areas. Be aware of the latest trends and technologies in the IT industry.

    Networking:

    • Attend industry events, seminars, and conferences to network with professionals in both the legal and IT fields. Join relevant online forums and social media communities to connect with individuals working in Legal IT.

    Internships and Entry-Level Positions:

    • Accrue practical experience through internships or entry-level Legal IT jobs in law firms, legal departments, or IT companies that work closely with the legal industry. This hands-on experience will enhance your understanding of the intersection between law and technology.

    Build a Portfolio:

    • Create a portfolio showcasing your skills and projects related to Legal IT. This could include case studies, software development projects, or examples of successful IT implementations in legal settings.

    Stay Informed:

    • Keep yourself informed about the latest developments in Legal IT and emerging technologies. Subscribe to industry publications, blogs, and newsletters to stay up-to-date with trends and best practices.

    Seek Professional Development Opportunities:

    • Participate in training programs, workshops, and online courses to continually enhance your skills and knowledge. Professional development opportunities can also include attending webinars or pursuing advanced degrees or certifications.

    Tailor Your CV:

    • Customise your CV to highlight relevant skills and experiences for Legal IT positions. Emphasise your understanding of both legal and IT aspects, showcasing how your background uniquely qualifies you for the role. Discover our dedicated CV & Career Advice for advice on how to curate an optimised CV.

    Job Search:

    • Discover the latest job opportunities in Legal IT on TotallyLegal.

    Upload your CV to Site and Set Up Job Alerts:

    • Uploading your CV to TotallyLegal allows you to get headhunted by recruiters for the latest job roles in Legal IT. As a sought after candidate, with the right skillet, you can be first to hear about, and apply to roles. Set up job alerts to receive the latest Legal IT jobs directly to your inbox. Discover our ‘How to Set up a Job Alert – Optimise your Job Search with TotallyLegal’ article for more information on the benefits of job alerts.

  • What’s a typical Legal IT Career Path?

    A career in Legal IT opens many doors to advancement throughout the sector, offering individuals the chance to follow a linear pathway if they wish, or focus on a certain speciality.

    As a basis, a career path in Legal IT could follow:

    Legal IT Support Roles:

    • Following the establishment of yourself as a Legal IT specialist within your field, you may progress to roles that provide direct support to legal professionals and legal IT systems. This may include positions such as a Legal IT Support Specialist, involving troubleshooting issues, providing technical assistance, and contributing to the day-to-day IT operations in a legal setting.

    Specialised Roles:

    • As you gain experience, you may move into a more specialised area of Legal IT, such as eDiscovery Specialist, Legal Database Administrator, or Legal Software Developer. These roles require a deeper understanding of both legal processes and technology.

    IT Management Positions:

    • With several years of experience, it’s possible to advance to IT management positions within a legal organisation or law firm. This could include roles like Legal IT Manager or Director, where you oversee the entire IT infrastructure, manage projects, and align technology strategies with business objectives.

    Legal Technology Consultant:

    • Some individuals choose to transition to a consulting role, working for IT consulting firms or independently. Legal Technology Consultants provide advice and solutions to law firms and legal departments on technology adoption, optimization, and strategy.

    Leadership Roles:

    • As you accrue further expertise and tenure, you obtain opportunities to move into leadership roles within Legal IT, such as Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Technology Officer (CTO). These roles hold accountability for shaping the overall technology strategy of the organisation.

    Executive Leadership and Advisory Roles:

    • For those with extensive experience and a track record of success, executive leadership roles at the highest levels of an organisation become attainable. This may include roles such as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or other advisory positions where you contribute to the organisation's overall strategy.

    Entrepreneurship:

    • Some individuals may choose to leverage their experience in Legal IT to start their own technology-related businesses, offering specialised services, software solutions, or consulting to the legal industry.

  • How much can you earn working in Legal IT?

    According to our latest Salary Survey, those in Legal IT can earn up to £58,750 per annum. This statistic will naturally depend on your job role, seniority, location and practice area.

    Legal IT is a prosperous profession for salary rates, with 75% of those working in the sector receiving a pay increase this past year, and 75% receiving a bonus.