How to become an IT lawyer?

itdaddyitdaddy Member Posts: 2,089 ■■■■□□□□□□
Okay dudes don't mean to break code here but how does one become an IT lawyer? does anyone know? I new a guy who was a civil engineer who became an engineering lawyer.

Does anyone know the route to become an IT lawyer?

International Association of IT Lawyers



  • draineydrainey Member Posts: 261
    Pretty sure the first step is to become a lawyer. That means appling and getting accepted to a law school and then of course completing law school and earning your degree. Then you'd have to take and pass the BAR exam for your state. Wisconsin in your case. Then you can specialize it Information Technology Law. I'd assume that you'd want to take as many courses geared toward IT law as you could while in law school. Also I'm pretty sure you're going to need to have a 4 year degree to be accepted into law school, so if you don't have that you'll need to start there. But do you really want to be a lawyer?

    From one "cheesehead" to another, but I'm over in La Crosse.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • itdaddyitdaddy Member Posts: 2,089 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey Drainey....I know I have to go to law school. I just wanted some clarifications.
    Like I said my friend I knew in calif was a civil engineer and went law school.

    No I really don't but it is always good to know. Hey thanks. I guess I already knew but needed it spelled out. Sounds like you thought of it too. haah

    Yeah finishing up my BS in computer science in 2 years time going part time
    but I am on my way going to finish this beast...

    nah...I am hands on guy, but just wanted to toy with the idea.

    Thanks Drainy...say when is all this stupid snow going to leave Wis.?

    later ;)
    thanks cheesehead!

    can you believe brett favre retired...?? kind a pissed me of that he didnt do one more year with green bay and then retire...he pisses me off! kind of a slap in the face you know.
    that is how I take it! jerk for leaving green bay and retiring as someone else! what do you think about that?
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Your computer background should give you what you need to do computer law after going to law school. Good luck!
    Intro to Discrete Math
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  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 929 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Identify the definition of IT lawyer do?
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • ladiesman217ladiesman217 Member Posts: 416
    itdaddy wrote: »
    Okay dudes don't mean to break code here but how does one become an IT lawyer? does anyone know? I new a guy who was a civil engineer who became an engineering lawyer.

    Does anyone know the route to become an IT lawyer?

    International Association of IT*Lawyers


    I thought you're planning to study somewhere..
    No Sacrifice, No Victory.
  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Member Posts: 1,480 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Kasor wrote: »
    Identify the definition of IT lawyer do?

    Wouldn't they be experts in legal issues revolving around information technology? I would see them handling cases revolving around a whole slew of various IT related areas as well as offering advice for companies conducting business online with writing AUP's, TOS's, Privacy Policies, etc. What about lawyers who assist in writing software licenses? There are a lot of possibilities really.
  • markk2008markk2008 Member Posts: 47 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just having a background in IT is obviously not going to get you a job as an IT lawyer, because you are missing out all of the legal side, I dont know the route that has to be taken, but you will just need to do some investigating.
    People who search for IT Jobs typically find Jobs in IT
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Actually, if you want to dabble in IT law but not give up the hands-on aspect you might want to go the route of an "expert witness" as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for cases involving IT crime. Take some law classes as part of your BS/BA and ask around how to make yourself available to lawyers as an expert witness.

    icon_arrow.gifExpert Witness
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • draineydrainey Member Posts: 261
    IT Daddy, I figured you knew all that but sometimes it does help to have someone spell it out for you. Been debating on continuing with the self study for MCITP:SA/EA or taking work up on the offer to send me to boot camp. Hate boot camps, they cram what you need to know in your head and make sure you pass the exams, but how much do you really retain? But as my wife says it beats the time investment of self study. I have the 620 done, just finished the MS press book for the 643 and bought a Transcender so I think I'll do a hybrid. Finish the 643 on my own, then go to a boot camp for SA (more comfortable with net infrastructure and AD) then do the 647 for EA on my own. As for law school, my brother has tried to push me that way a few times, I think about it for a couple of days, then shake my head and forget it, it's just not for me.

    The snow can't leave soon enough for me!!! Had to go to a meeting for the parents for the baseball assoc. last night, just didn't seem like we should be discussing tryouts already with snow still on the ground.

    As for Farve, I think he's a great player, but I don't understand retiring after a year with the Jets. I'm sure there was alot said/done on both sides between Farve/GB that lead to his original retirement, but damn, either come back for the 3 years contracted with the Jets or stay retired to begin with. Not sure what he was trying to prove. Personally I think he should have just stayed retired. He had to know playing with the Jets was going to be tough and they wouldn't win the big one the first year.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    I wonder how much of an "expert" you need to be. I mean, we all know that no one can be a 100% in IT matters. If seems that it is a great idea, but then trying to debate, under oath, with another IT person seems to be like debating poilitics. THere are 100 different ways to go about something, for the most part, so wouldn't the 2 cancel each other out.

    With that being said, I think that it would be great. IT is bascially problem solving, babysitting, and what better way than to provide a service for pay. Hell, with the rate lawyers charge ( dealing with this right now), why not ask for similar amounts.
    -WIP- (70-294 and 297)

    Once MCSE 2k3 completed:

    WGU: BS in IT, Design/Management

    Finish MCITP:EA, CCNA, PMP by end of 2012

    After that, take a much needed vacation!!!!!
  • itdaddyitdaddy Member Posts: 2,089 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey thanks guys. I was just thinking about it and all. Just curious. Me I am a hands on guy.
    but doing expert work would be fun sounds like forensics or something like that.

    Ladiesman....stil in the cards man!

    Drainey...Brett should have stayed with packers; he was a football God here. it would have been nice....but who knows what goes on behind the scenes.

    yeah, I know what you mean about not for me kind of thing. I am a hands on guy too.
    but anymore getting sick of IT Managers/ Exec type scraping in the doe and saying they work for living pushing paper around and then breaking IT systems....while getting paid the bigger bucks...and the real heros are the guys doing the work...and gaining skills..

    I think boot camps are okay just the longer ones..The exams are getting tougher so we have to survive and all and to be honest "who really knows it all?" just be cause you get MCSE doesnt mean you know it all but you know a lot and where to look. just like me finishing my BS in computer science. Does that mean I can programm in any langauage? or
    solve any problem? NO, but I have a really good idea and can learn the last 7 classes are going to be breeze for me in college due to the fact, I code at work. If you use it daily you can breeze thru the classes. just like bootcamps..if you do the MCSE stuff daily you can breeze thru the boooks and tests. Good luck man! you can do it.

    Robert ;)
  • zen masterzen master Member Posts: 222
    Funny you should mention this. I notice that there are a few masters programs in law (LLM) which may not necessarily require a first degree in law, and a comp sci degree may get you in. What is required to actually practice law after you complete that, well, that's what I'm trying to find out.
  • draineydrainey Member Posts: 261
    ITDaddy Brett's legend will be alright if he stays retired, otherwise he's going to end up a forgotten has been.

    Talked to the boss yesterday about a boot camp for the MCITP: sa waiting to hear back from him on what upper mgmt says. Now I'm thinking I should have asked for the ea camp and not worried about already having the 620 and being halfway through the 643, but whatever I'll take what I can get. I know you can't know it all, I just don't want to be a paper tiger, but I'm starting to lean toward your way of thinking. A boot camp and get it done, I can always do labs at home and work with what I can at work to get the hands on to go with it.

    Good luck with the crap bosses, been there done that, but have been lucky current job and last one came with great bosses. Not so much upper mgmt at last job, but hey a job is a good thing right now.
    The irony truly is strange that you're the only one you can change. -- Anthony Gomes
  • eansdadeansdad Member Posts: 775 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Every lawyer I've even known has had paralegals and "industry experts" ,ie people who work in the field, for anything they themselves do not know. If your looking to become an "IT" Lawyer then you would have to obtain a law degree then pass your states bar exam. Then you can practice any law you wanted. On a side note, law degrees are not like IT degrees. When you study law you will study all types of law family, civil, corporate...etc. Unlike IT where you can study different aspects.
  • bellheadbellhead Member Posts: 120
    My neighbor is a patent lawyer. If you ask what a patent lawyer is then you don't know. If you ask how to become an IT lawyer then you don't know what patent lawyer is.

    A patent lawyer is a lawyer who has an undergrad degree in a hard science with a b.s. in the degree. the b.s. is required. After passing the normal bar you are then eligible to sit for the patent bar which is a specialized bar for your discipline. He has a B.A. in history then went to law school. Was legislated out of work due to political pressure "ob/gyn defense attorney" After doing criminal defense for a year because he was unable to find anything else he went back and earned an undergrad in Chemistry allowing him to sit for the patent bar. He passed and is now making around $200k a year.
  • amp2030amp2030 Member Posts: 253
    bellhead wrote: »
    If you ask what a patent lawyer is then you don't know. If you ask how to become an IT lawyer then you don't know what patent lawyer is.

    Non sequitur?
  • rensationalrensational Member Posts: 30 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I found this site through an internet search on IT certs, I think. I actually just earned a law degree less than a year ago, but I'm more interested in changing course to IT. I can't claim to know everything about the legal profession, but a few thoughts:

    Technically, there is no such thing as an "IT Lawyer" (or an "engineering lawyer"). If you were to go to law school thinking you were just going to get to deal with legal issues related to computers, electronics and other things related to information technology/comp. sci as a lawyer, you'd be wrong. You can deal with those issues or what some people call "computer law," but really what you'd be, at least to start out, is an Intellectual Property attorney. Intellectual Property serves as an umbrella for a lot of areas and has sub-areas, all or many of which you'd be expected to handle cases on upon graduation from law school/bar licensure/hiring. Among these are, as mentioned already, Patent Law, Copyrights, Trademarks, Media & Internet, etc. If you're lucky enough to get hired by the right firm, maybe you will see some IT issues other than patents or some company ripping off another company's software design, etc, your first few years or at all while working there. But IP Law is mainly about patents, copyrights, trademarks, and then sometimes the media and the internet/e-commerce. In other words, it really won't be a close enough connection there for people who love working with computers or other electronics, and/or people who know a lot about computers.

    I found out the hard way it's hard to get IP jobs. It kills me how people always have an "I have a neighbor who is an XYZ lawyer and they make $200000 a year" stories like all lawyers make that or got on their path easily. I mean no offense to the person who wrote that--it's just a fact whenever someone brings up law school or practicing law that someone will eventually relay that kind of story. The truth is you could end up in law school thinking you're going to make good money upon graduation and/or practice a certain area of law, and then once you're there and doing interviews or researching employers you find out there's either no such thing technically as what you want to do, only certain people/certain fields of law bring in the big bucks, "sexy" fields of law are terribly competitive to get into (i.e. Entertainment Law, "Computer Law," etc) and most people who are interested will not be able to practice in those areas and just all kinds of other catches. Intellectual Property has become a field where, as kind of mentioned, you need to have a science-y degree to get into (which I don't have). And that's the case nowadays even if you just want to deal with copyrights and trademarks, or even want to do Entertainment Law. The latter three areas are that I was interested in, but legal employers will no longer hire people to handle these issues unless they are also qualified to do patent work (which I'm not, since my college degree is Psychology and English). In other words, there are some areas of law where you're just not allowed to completely specialize anymore or to come right out of law school and handle certain cases. And IP is a very popular field, so there is a lot of competition for not enough jobs to go around in that. Having a science background and passing the Patent Bar is the most helpful thing.

    As far as understanding has been that LL.Ms are usually either for people who have graduated from law school or people who have come to the US from other countries with law degrees from their native country, wanting to practice in the US. Oftentimes, LL.M programs are basically full of foreigners--I know it was at my law school. For Americans who do those programs, it's usually a way to show they have earned a specialization in a particular field. Employers do not seem to care for this, as they feel it means you think you deserve more money than someone with just a J.D. or other degrees/certifications. Regardless, you can't practice law without the J.D. and/or bar licensure (some states allow you to take the bar without a J.D.). I think an LL.M otherwise is a complete waste (as, increasingly, most degrees are in most areas).

    Hope this helps.
  • bellheadbellhead Member Posts: 120
    I should mention my neighbor the patent lawyer did know other lawyers at a patent firm. He also had extensive litigation defense before at his ob/gyn firm before starting with his new firm. He chose chemistry only because it allowed him to take the minimum amount of courses. He would have chosen any other science it was all about courses and the quickest path to him. After seeing his life in criminal practice. I would never want to be a lawyer, except at maybe criminal defense...Man the stories he had.
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