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Technology can be rather confusing. For some small firm and solo practitioners, bringing on a tech savvy recent grad could be immensely helpful in figuring out what to do when it comes to cybersecurity and updating your firm's tech. While older attorneys can pass on their legal wisdom, younger tech natives can add value to the firm with their tech knowhow.
However, you better be careful. If you're hoping and dreaming that the recent grad you just hired is going to fix your law firm's tech, you may be surprised to learn that many Millennials may be more digitally naïve than digital native. Below you can read about how to evaluate whether a candidate is tech savvy, a tech savior, or just knows how to use Microsoft Office.
If you are expecting a recent law grad to fix your law office's legal technology, you might just be wasting your money. After all, the recent grad just learned to become a lawyer, not a cybersecurity or tech expert. Most tech centered legal education is not geared towards helping law firms, but rather at serving tech clients. Instead of hiring a full time lawyer to do a tech consultant's job, considering hiring a part time lawyer to do lawyer work and paying a tech consultant to do the tech work.
If you are truly lost when it comes to knowing where to even start, then you may want to consider having a tech savvy associate help you find your consultant.
Don't be Impressed by Page Building or Blogging as a Tech Skill
Anyone can "build" a website or blog with a few clicks of a mouse and keyboard. Hard coding a website, on the other hand, does show a certain aptitude for tech.
So don't assume that just because a candidate put "building websites" under the "miscellaneous" section of their resume that it means they know anything about cybersecurity and the newest legal tech. Complicating matters: just because someone can code, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll know cybersecurity or law firm tech.
Ask About It
Fortunately, before you hire someone, you get to interview them. That means you can ask all about a potential hire's technological knowhow. Don't assume that a recent grad will be a tech whiz because they grew up in a particular generation. Look at the tech skills listed, and ask questions about those skills.
More likely than not, you won't be able to find a lawyer that can implement the same level of cybersecurity or tech updating as a third party would. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for outsourcing your legal tech needs.
There is a slight chance though, if you ask the right questions, you may be able to find a former cybersecurity professional that transitioned into law that can become your tech savior. If that's the case, and if they meet all the other criteria, the big question might just be what's more cost effective: the associate or the outsourced tech consultant?
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