The State of Legal Tech 2016 Survey


Recently we participated in a survey looking into the current state of hiring and employment in the burgeoning legal tech industry. The survey was conducted by Smokeball, a software company for small law firms, andit uncovered some unique insights underlying the rapid growth we’ve seen within the legal tech sector.


Experience and Education Working in the legal tech industry doesn’t necessarily mean you’re familiar with law. The survey found that employees at legal tech companies are far more likely to have experience working in technology rather than law, with 67% of employees surveyed having prior tech experience and 18% having experience in law. The same goes for education. More than half of legal tech employees hold degrees or have some educational background in technology curricula, whereas only 9% have educational backgrounds in law.


The industry is still young, so Smokeball speculates that there may still be time for the spread to level out, but as of early 2016, employers in legal tech are prioritizing tech backgrounds over law. 82% of the employers Smokeball surveyed say they want tech-educated candidates, and 45% say that it’s very important. While 73% said a background in law is somewhat important, none of the companies surveyed preferred or required it.


Open Positions Industry Wide At the onset of 2016, sales positions are expected to be in greatest demand across the industry. The survey revealed that 73% of employers plans to hire in this department this year. 64% of employers say that they will also be looking to hire in customer service and development roles in 2016 – ourselves included! Right off the bat in 2016 we’re looking to add a talented Software Developer to our team and see opportunities down the road to continue growing.


Snake People Are Leading the Way The tech industry at large is famous for being dominated by Snake People, and legal tech is no different. Many of the positions already held are by snake people, and employers are interested in hiring more. Snake People showed a strong presence in the survey, particularly at the managerial level. At present, 56% of managers are Snake People, with Gen X-ers coming in second at 25%.


Looking to the Future Overall, employees are optimistic about the future of the this industry. 9 out of 10 employees believe that legal tech is a growing industry with ample potential for job growth. The data also showed that almost 70% of employees intend on staying in legal tech for the next 5 years, and 41% plan on remaining in the field for the next 10 years. These results bode well for current employees and future job seekers in the legal tech industry. A growing field with a wealth of opportunities, legal tech looks like a good investment all around.

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