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Emerging Legal Professions in 2021: The most in-demand legal tech jobs — and their salaries.

The Legal Tech sector is growing at a 6% growth rate per year, according to Statista. While in 2019, the market generated revenues of 17.32 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, it’s expected to hit over $25 billion in 2025.

No wonder.

The past 18 months have accelerated virtually every industry’s path towards digitalization. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, including legal services.

88% of legal organizations have undertaken at least one step of technology advancement initiatives to be future-ready, ensure business growth, and keep up with the competition.

Today business services firms, law firms, and corporate legal departments are focusing on:

  1. developing own legal technology solutions
  2. hiring a technology specialist/team
  3. partnering with a legal technology startup

While building or buying document generation software, document management solutions or digital contract signing apps is already a must-have step towards digital transformation, having the right people working with these tools are the same crucial. 

40% of business services firms have hired new technology competencies, which shows the increasing trend of investing in legal tech roles since businesses realize the benefits of combining the extensive expertise of lawyers with technical competence.

Gartner’s research proves that putting together the A-team of legal staff means investing in innovative legal tech roles like:

  • Contract Managers
  • Legal Project Managers
  • Paralegals 
  • Legal Management Technology Managers
  • Legal Operations Managers
  • Chief Legal Officers

Legal Tech specialists operate with the understanding of how advanced technology can help to achieve the business’s strategic needs and goals. They are reshaping how law firms and legal departments deliver services and drive results. With the help of legal technology specialists, your business can increase efficiency, improve workflow, and reduce costs.

Now let’s review who are the talents you should be looking for, how much they cost, and why your company needs them?

2021 Emerging Legal Tech Professions, Including Skillset And Salary

Contract Manager

Contract managers have a valuable role in an organization — they craft and manage all contracts and documentation, negotiate and build relationships with clients, and ensure everything follows regulations and compliance. A contract manager role is a must-have for companies that make contractual agreements or often cooperate with the government or public sector.

💰 Contract manager average salary: $92,495 per year

💡 Contract manager responsibilities: 

  • Contracts and documentation management
  • Client management
  • Risk & compliance management

💡 Contract manager requirements

Generally, a Contract Manager should have Bachelor and Master degrees in Business Administration.

💡 Contract manager skills:

  • Efficient communication and negotiation tactics
  • Understanding of contract law
  • Detail-oriented, analytical, organized way of working 

They should always be keeping their eye on the latest tech solutions that can simplify their daily operations with documentation. 

🖥️ Contract manager software: Avokaado for contract lifecycle management, Legito for document automation, and Gatekeeper for contract negotiation. 

👉 Read more about contract management software options here.

📈 Projected growth & the future of the profession:

New York has the most Contract Managers in the US, and according to statistics, technology is the highest paying industry. It is said that from 2018 to 2028, the expected job growth rate is 6%, and it will create about 29,200 job opportunities across the U.S — the competitive race for best contract managers is expected to continue.

 

Paralegal

Using paralegals is a smart choice for many companies since multitasking paralegals can excellently perform administrative legal tasks for a lower cost. A talented paralegal is a key element for a successful lawyer

💰 Paralegal average salary: $50,277 per year

💡 Paralegal responsibilities: 

  • Legal research and investigation
  • Reports and documentation
  • Client communication
  • Assistance during courtroom trials

💡 Paralegal requirements

Although a legal degree is not mandatory, it’s beneficial to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in law or a paralegal certificate. 

💡 Paralegal skills:

  • Research competencies 
  • Ability to understand legal text
  • Excellent organizational and multitasking skills
  • Clear communication
  • Attention to detail, analytical and logical reasoning 

Paralegals with good technology knowledge (computer and database management skills) have the best job prospects.

🖥️ Paralegal software: Avokaado for contract lifecycle management, LexisNexis for cloud-based research, Clio — cloud-based case/practice management, App4Legal for daily project management.

📈 Projected growth & future of the profession:

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that by 2029 the paralegals’ job growth rate is 10% (higher than the industry average), and the competition is tough. This is because the demand for legal services is constantly increasing. In the UK, the highest-earning Paralegals are in the Energy & Environmental area. In the US, the top-paying industry is Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods.

 

Legal Project Manager

Legal project managers use the principles of project management to help businesses run more efficiently and in a more cost-effective and client-focused way. The bigger the firm, the more valuable Legal Project Managers are. 

💰 Legal Project Manager average salary: $85,244 per year

💡 Legal Project Manager responsibilities:

  • Projects and workflows planning and management
  • Budgeting of legal projects
  • Ensuring clear communication and common understanding between all parties
  • Implementing new tools and initiatives like new legal IT software

💡 Legal Project Manager requirements

While Legal Project Managers don’t necessarily need a formal certification, they must have a great understanding of the legal sector as well as project management to help firms become more efficient and organized. 

💡 Legal Project Manager skills:

  • Project Management
  • Strategic, problem-solving thinking
  • Great teamwork & communication skills
  • Legal-specific knowledge

Innovative Legal Project Managers propose new ways of working and new modern solutions to the teams to be more efficient and organized. 

🖥️ Legal Project Manager software: Avokaado for contract lifecycle management, Clio for projects and task management, HighQ provides secure project and client collaboration, Exterro Project Management helps to organize workflows.

📈 Projected growth & future of the profession:

From 2019 to 2029 the project managers’ overall employment in the United States is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations —  5%. Within the next 7 years, 505,000 new project managers jobs will be created in the US and the legal sector is one of the top industries hiring project managers.

 

Legal Management Technology Manager

Someone needs to lead technology transformation and navigate all modern solutions for legal departments. Legal Management Technology Manager is the one driving technology and innovation roadmap. Data is the keyword in today’s world, and they must understand how to use its full potential for monetization.

💰 Legal Technology Manager average salary: $120,080 per year

💡 Legal Management Technology Manager responsibilities:

  • Providing insights into the latest technology trends and solutions
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Optimizing legal processes leveraging technology
  • Consulting teams and clients on technology development topics

💡 Legal Management Technology Manager requirements

A degree plus experience in law, finance, and IT is important to execute this role.

💡 Legal Management Technology Manager skills:

  • Common legal technologies experience
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills
  • Understanding of database management, data processing, and data analytic concepts

🖥️ Legal Management Technology Manager software: OneTrust for privacy management; AI-based technology: Brightflag for eBilling, invoice review, and reporting and analytics.

📈 Projected growth & future of the profession:

Data Bridge Market Research reports that the legal operations software market is expected to grow at a rate of 14.1% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027, while the global software industry has an average growth rate of a 10.1%. This shows that legal software is an emerging market and lots of new job positions will be created for Legal Management Technology Managers in the upcoming years.

 

Legal Operations Manager

Legal Operations Managers make lawyers’ lives easier. Legal Operations Managers drive for greater efficiency so lawyers can spend time practicing the law and not worry about daily operations or stakeholder management.

💰 Legal Operations Manager average salary: $77,464 per year

💰 Senior Legal Operations Manager average salary: $110,002 per year

💡 Legal Operations Manager responsibilities:

  • Optimizing legal team’s and projects’ workflow
  • Handling performance management
  • Budgeting legal department operations
  • Resource & staff management
  • Vendor management

💡 Legal Operations Manager requirements

Both lawyers and nonlawyers can be suitable for the role as long as they have the right competencies. Appropriate BA degrees are Finance, Business, or MBA. A Master’s degree in Operations Management or legal studies is much appreciated.

💡 Legal Operations Manager skills:

  • Data analysis, KPI calculations
  • Clear communication
  • Legal & technology knowledge
  • Problem-solving approach

Legal Operations Manager needs efficient technology solutions to excel the resource and staff management or budgeting.

🖥️ Legal Operations software: SimpleLegal or App4Legal  for handling daily operations; Avokaado for contract lifecycle management, LexisNexis for Financial and Vendor Management.

📈 Projected growth & future of the profession:

The 2021 State of Corporate Law Departments Report shows that the demand for legal operations professionals jumped high in 2020. 81% of law departments confirmed that they were hiring legal ops professionals in 2020, up from 57% in 2019. 

 

Chief Legal Officer

Chief Legal Officer (CLO) or General Counsel is the highest legal position in a company. The global business environment is in constant change when it comes to regulations, information privacy, or digital transformation. It’s essential to get support from an excellent CLO who provides valuable legal advice and input. 

💰 Chief Legal Officer average salary: $238,740 per year

💡 Chief Legal Officer responsibilities:

  • Consulting the executive management
  • Keeping the legal risks of the company minimal
  • Developing and leading corporate legal strategy
  • Overseeing delivery of legal services
  • Stakeholder management

💡 Chief Legal Officer requirements:

A law school degree, being a member of the State Bar, and significant work experience are expected of a Chief Legal Officer. 

💡 Chief Legal Officer skills:

  • Excellent management, leadership & communication skills
  • Strong business acumen
  • Exceptional legal expertise 
  • Understanding of institutional policies, procedures, and the regulatory environment within the business area

🖥️ Chief Legal Officer software: SimpleLegal or App4Legal for handling daily operations

2020 In-house Counsel Compensation Survey states that CLOs specializing in banking, advertising, energy, healthcare, and automotive earn the highest income.

📈 Projected growth & future of the profession:

In New York City, Chief Legal Officers are in most demand, and it is predicted that by 2028 the job growth rate is 6%. This means around 50,000 job opportunities will be produced across the US in the coming years. 

 

Verdict: Does Your Company Need A Legal Tech Specialist?

Of course, this is for you to decide, but if you want to make sure your business not only survives but thrives, it’s highly recommended to keep up with the emerging legal professions and digital transformation.

Gartner Research shows that legal tech budgets are expected to grow three times by 2025, so to avoid getting crushed by your competitors, you need to put together a solid legal tech team that consists of:

  • Contract Managers
  • Legal Project Managers
  • Paralegals 
  • Legal Management Technology Managers
  • Legal Operations Managers
  • Chief Legal Officers

These people will ensure that you have reliable and robust contracts and agreements, you are saving as much time and money as possible with automation, and your business is bulletproof and ready to face any change or challenge coming your way!

 

28.07.2021

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