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Legal Tech Is Swarming With Non-Lawyers. Should You Be Worried?

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on February 22, 2016 5:59 AM

If you were to take a wild guess as to how many people in legal tech had a legal education, what percentage would you come up with? 75 percent? 70?

How about nine percent? Well, according to a study put together by case management software company Smokeball, that's how low the numbers are. Practically nobody has first hand knowledge about how to practice law in the legal-tech world.

Shockingly Low

We don't know about you, but that number shocking. Granted, whether or not someone qualifies as being "legally educated" is up to some debate, but that debate can only make things potentially worse in terms of supposed competence. We'll get into that later.

A Quick Look

According to the results of the survey, it was found that far more new hires in the legal tech industry had prior experience in tech than they did in law -- by a whole lot. Results of the survey indicated that two thirds of employees had previous tech work experience, but only 18 percent had previous experience in the legal field.

"Experience in the legal field" is also an extremely broad qualifier. When the numbers get whittled down further, it turns out that only nine percent of the grand total of employees in the legal tech field have any legal education at all.

As Lawyerist points out, the nine percent figure does not make any distinction as to those who passed the bar or didn't. Nor does it tell who practiced for any significant amount of time. In other words, having legal education means the industry could just be looping in people who never graduated. 

The Silver Lining

This means a potential vacuum. According to notes in the survey, employees in the legal tech industry felt that there was ample growth left in the industry and that the future looks bright in legal tech.

Well, great! Let's get some balance in this industry, shall we?

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