April 13, 2020

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide

Introduction

Today, the most important job for a law firm lawyer is to ensure that a critical mass of clients is coming in the door to support the firm's business. Also, for many lawyers, especially recent law school grads, the top priority is to find a job. In response to our current economic climate, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law leaders share their insights
to:
1) develop the expertise to practice day to day;
2) effectively find a job, and
3) develop more business.


Look Left, Look Right, Look Backward, Look Forward!
By: Stephen Wu, San Jose, CA

Leadership is working on delivering more value to our members, helping you explore opportunities for business and career development, delivering CLE programming in new ways, and helping to prepare members for sweeping changes in science and technology law. In these tough economic times, finding a job and developing new business are top priorities for most of our lawyers. Some questions that young lawyer may have are:
1. How can I develop the expertise to enter into the area of law?
2. How can I find a job in this area of law?
3. How can I attract more clients and develop new business in this area of law?
These questions raise a more general question: what does it take to have a successful career in science and technology law? I will try to answer the question with a slogan: “Look left, look
right, look backward, and look forward.” What do I mean by that?

Look Left, Look Right
When I refer to “left” and “right,” I am referring to the way people think and operate based on the structure of our brains. The popular press talks about “left brained” people and “right brained” people. “Left brained” people are supposed to be rational, analytical, logical, and detail-oriented. “Right brained” people are supposed to be imaginative, artistic, intuitive, and oriented towards the “big picture.” I believe that scitech lawyers need both left and right brain skills, and therefore should look to both the left brain and the right brain for success.
Here are some of the characteristics of the left brain and the right brain:

Left Brain Characteristics
• Logical 
• Control of feelings
• Looks at solving problems sequentially
• Facts trump imagination
• Master of words and language
• Communicating by talking and writing
• Preference for planning and structuring
• Strength in math and science
• Looks to the present and past
• Making judgments based on established and certain information
• Focusing on the details
• Practical and safe

Right Brain Characteristics
• Feeling
• Free to express feelings
• Looks for solving problems by finding patterns and using hunches
• Imagination trumps facts
• Master of symbols and images
• Communicating by drawing and demonstrating
• Preference for spontaneity and the unstructured
• Strength in philosophy and religion
• Looks to the present and future|
• Making judgments based on elusive, uncertain information
• Focusing on the big picture
• Impetuous and risk-taking

The popular press places lawyers – of the traditional variety – squarely in the left brained camp. Lawyers are supposed to be rational, analytical, logical, and detail-oriented. Their stock-in-trade is the ability to communicate through the spoken word and clear writing. Their reasoning is based on precedent, and legal decisions arise from established evidence, and not speculation. For scitech lawyers, the left brain emphasis on science and math provides for crucial job skills in understanding our clients’ technologies.

Nonetheless, the left brain emphasis of traditional law is not enough in today’s hyper- competitive legal landscape. For scitech lawyers, emphasizing the left brain skills may limit their careers. In preparation for this article, I read a fascinating article that appeared in Wired Magazine entitled, “Revenge of the Right Brain” by Daniel H. Pink. Mr. Pink wrote a number of books about future trends in the work world, and his Wired article was adopted from his book “A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age.” It is all the more appropriate to consider his article in this column, because, as noted on his website, Mr. Pink received a law degree from Yale Law School.1
1 As an aside, Mr. Pink writes on his website, danpink.com, “To his lasting joy, he has never practiced law.” I intend to contact Mr. Pink to show how he could have had lasting joy by having a
“different” kind of career in the law – by practicing science and technology law. And with a JD degree, it’s never too late for Mr. Pink to jump back in!
Mr. Pink took the position that three trends mean that those who rely on the left brain may fall
behind and those who launch their careers from the right brain have a chance to rise to the top. The three trends are the outsourcing of business to Asia, the automation of analytical tasks through information technology, and the material abundance that leaves us hungering for meaning, purpose, and beauty. In the world of selling products and services, the world hungers for “high concept.” Think of the difference between your average PC and an Apple Macintosh. Mr. Pink writes, “High concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to come up with inventions the world didn’t know it was missing.” His description reads on perfectly how Apple became such a success, and Steve Jobs is the master of the high concept. He created the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, which in hindsight, given their vast success in niches they have carved out, are products the world didn’t know it was missing.

Scitech lawyers, in their orientation towards niche practices, must carve out new niches to cover legal issues for cutting-edge technologies. They must “detect patterns and opportunities”
in new technology and find opportunities to provide legal services. They must “craft a satisfying narrative” to explain to traditional lawyers and clients who have never heard of some areas of law that they must hire someone who knows about these cutting edge technologies. And most of all, being a scitech lawyer is all about coming up with legal service offerings that “the world didn’t know it was missing.” At the beginning of my legal career in 1988, there was no such thing as an “Internet lawyer,” because the Internet as we know it didn’t exist. By 1997, nine short years later, when I took a new job at an Internet security company called VeriSign, my employment and entire livelihood depended on acquiring skills in the previously unknown field of Internet law.

Of course, being a lawyer involves mastering left brain skills, but being a scitech lawyer requires more. Mr. Pink advises us to “go right” – cultivate our right brain skills. Part of the Section’s mission is to educate our members to reach beyond the "practical and safe” in traditional law and dive into the risk-taking world of scitech law. Ultimately, scitech lawyers aspire to move beyond the details in order to see the big picture.

Look Backward, Look Forward
Law in common law countries strongly emphasizes the review of precedents – past cases  and sources of law – in order to make legal judgments about a present case or situation. As
lawyers, we learn about the application of precedents to current legal situations from the very start of legal education. The popular press points to this focus on the past as a reason
why the legal profession in this country is rooted in tradition and lawyers tend to be risk-averse. Scitech lawyers must master the skill of looking behind them to see applicable precedents in their day-to-day work. They must continue to use the tools of applying previous cases as well as provisions of constitutions, statutes, and regulations to current legal situations. In fact,
looking backward is a key skill when thinking about the legal impact of new technologies precisely because there are no on-point precedents. Because no precedents read on to the new technology, potentially any area of law may provide helpful analogies. Scitech lawyers look at past patterns in cases and statutes to see how law in traditional low-tech areas may help them make legal judgments about the latest high-tech fields.

Sometimes scitech lawyers find surprising connections between a case about an old industry and something happening today.  At the same time, the hallmark of a scitech lawyer is to look forward, into the future, to see trends in the law arising from sweeping changes in technology. Clients value the judgment of scitech lawyers to give them a heads-up on emerging risks. They may depend on scitech lawyers to handle legal matters arising from new technologies, where traditional lawyers may not even know that such technologies even exist. Ultimately, clients may value the ability of scitech lawyers to shape future laws and change the course of public policy.

The SciTech Lawyer
Look left, look right, look backward, and look forward. The scitech lawyer’s left brain and right brain are fully engaged. She is the master of the analytical, but experiences the inspiration from the “aha” moments of seeing the big picture for the first time. The scitech lawyer uses deep knowledge of past precedent to gain an advantage in advocacy in areas
of technology where no cases are on-point. And ultimately, the scitech lawyer strives to see farther than other lawyers, to uncover new opportunities to provide legal services in
heretofore unknown fields, to craft a satisfying narrative to explain the value of scitech law to clients, and to deliver scitech legal services that the world didn’t know it needed. What
does it take to be a scitech lawyer? Practicing by the philosophy of looking left, looking right, looking backward, and looking forward may be the most effective recipe for success.

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide for Law Students and Young Lawyers Interested in: 


Science Policy

By: Mark Frankel, Washington, DC

Persons with a J.D. have important skills and analytical tools for working in the science and technology policy arena, especially those whose work/career goals related to science or engineering have attracted them to the Section. Those with legal training and an understanding of the culture and methods of science and engineering are highly sought after by
congressional offices, federal agencies (e.g., FDA, EPA and FTC), and a wide range of non-governmental organizations that focus on science and technology issues (e.g., Environmental
Law and Policy Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Research Center for Women and Families). With so much policy affected by legal precedent and interpretation, lawyers are central to developing legislation, regulations, and guidance.

Those with a proper understanding of science and engineering are at an advantage when developing and implementing policies that directly affect scientific research and its applications.

The ABA Section of Science & Technology Law is an opportunity for practitioners interested in science and/or technology policy to engage in the process. The Section actively contributes to the development of science and technology law public and private policy at the national and international levels and offers opportunities. For example, the International and Domestic Policy Advisory Group serves as the primary link between the Section committees and leadership and policymakers addressing international issues, such as the Office of the Legal Advisor, U.S. State Department, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) and its Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Commerce (CEFACT), the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Organization of American States (OAS), etc. There are opportunities to become active in this process on whatever level the practitioner chooses.

Several SciTech Committee Leaders were interviewed and below is their advice to young lawyers
concerning various areas of Science & Technology Law:

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Law

Geared Toward Lawyers with Interest in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
By: Ryan Calo, Stanford, CA, and Matt Henshon, Boston, MA,

1.  As a new attorney entering the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

AI/Robotics is still a developing area of the law, although the opportunity to become a thought leader in the area is definitely available. Young lawyers would be advised to obtain general
corporate experience with a technology bent: IP, licensing, corporate form and governance, finance, and also the areas that are more unique to robotics: intentional tort and product liability. It seems likely that administrative law, and in particular, Food & Drug (FDA) law will be important, because many commercially-likely applications of robotics could involve health and medical device products.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

Breaking into Robotics Law is akin to targeting Internet Law in the late 1980s or early 1990s; keeping up with business developments and emerging technologies is as important as
focusing on particular AI/Robotics cases. Niches are or will soon emerge around particular applications, such as personal service robots (e.g., iRobot’s Roomba), medical robots (e.g., Intuitive Surgical’s daVinci), and/or self-driven cars (Honda/BMW, etc)

Finally, public company filings (iRobot, car companies, etc) may be useful in understanding the legal issues that these companies currently face and are anticipating. Also, if you live near one of the clusters of robotic research (MIT/Harvard; Carnegie Mellon/Pitt; Berkeley, Stanford), there are opportunities in connection with on-campus activities.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

As mentioned above, the leading educational institutions -- (MIT/Harvard; Carnegie Mellon/Pitt; Berkeley, Stanford) will begin to spin off new companies and ventures in the next few years. Washington, DC is becoming a robotics and AI center because of military and national security applications. Finally, there are other less-known know robotics centers, such as the one located in Alabama (because of the proximity to auto plants.)

Behavioral Sciences Law

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:  Geared Toward Lawyers with Interest in Behavioral Sciences
By: Eric Y. Drogin, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP, Harvard Medical School, Hingham, MA

New attorneys seeking to practice at the intersection of law and behavioral sciences have many opportunities to develop relevant expertise. Of considerable assistance would be to obtain some form of continuing education regarding psychiatry and psychology, either in the form of an advanced degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) in psychology, or via such certification programs as that offered by the New York Law School in Mental Disability Law. Employment relevant to this mode of practice is often readily obtained on the basis of court appointment in cases of—for example—indigent criminal defense or guardianship representation, depending on the rules in one’s home jurisdiction.

Attorneys already practicing actively in this area can most effectively develop further contacts by presenting to state local bar associations, publishing in practice-oriented bar publications, and offering similar assistance to state and local psychiatric and psychological organizations on combined law and behavioral science topics.

Biotechnology Law

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:
Geared Toward Biotechnology Law Practitioners
By: Vid Mohan-Ram, Washington D.C.

Introduction
As the biotech industry continues to expand and develop to create new technologies, diagnostics, drugs, and therapies, so do potential opportunities for lawyers who wish to practice in the diverse field of biotech law. For instance, it was estimated that in 2009 there existed in the U.S. 1,699 public and private biotech companies that generated approximately $56.6 billion U.S. dollars in collective revenues. Domestic pharmaceutical sales exceeded $180 billion. Roughly 946 U.S. patents concerning multicellular living organisms were issued the same year by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and 97 new drugs and biologic license applications were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. See Biotech Industry Overview, Chapter 2, Plunkett’s Biotech & Genetics Industry Trends & Statistics 2011, by Jack W. Plunkett (www.plunkettresearch.com). Accordingly, notwithstanding the pressures of the current financial and investment climates, there do exist numerous opportunities for an attorney and new associates to develop and hone new skills, relationships, and business with and among those who work and practice in the biotech industry and law.

The Biotechnology Law Committee of the ABA’s Section of Science and Technology is therefore committed to assisting our members – especially new attorneys – navigate and constructively contribute and hone their skills and legal expertise in various biotech legal environments, whose areas of practice include intellectual property (Patents, Trade Secrets, Copyright, Trademarks), regulatory, import/export rules and regulations, privacy, acquisitions, mergers, tax law, licensing, litigation, and client counseling (VC pitches & presentations; investor relations; management & business strategic thinking and planning; and exit strategy development). The following are tips and suggestions for developing your expertise, to effectively find a job, or change practice areas, and develop business.

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise topractice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

Developing expertise in a particular biotech practice area that allows you to confidently and skillfully assist clients on a day-to-day basis is an incremental exercise that cannot be done alone. Therefore, a new attorney in a law firm may want to first develop relationships with partners and senior associates in a handful of biotech practice areas, or make use of internal mentoring programs, to start the process of legal osmosis to absorb and understand and apply aspects of day-to-day practice unique to their particular area of biotech law.

In intellectual property law, for instance, helping to manage a patent portfolio with U.S. and foreign applications is a fast-track way to hone one’s patent practice skills. Joining a team involved in an acquisition to evaluate a third party’s IP assets also is an excellent way to develop critical assessment skills in reviewing
patents and other proprietary assets in a business context, and to appreciate real world risks in commerce.  Another way to develop skills is to volunteer to work on non-billable projects, such as helping to create presentations, collating information for business pitches, and publishing articles with senior attorney co-authors. 

Pro bono activities are another excellent way to develop or refresh skills in completely different areas, such as legal procedure, community relationships, legal intake, and court document drafting.

One thing all lawyers must do is keep up to date with case law and new developments in legal reasoning. The biotech industry has seen several changes and debates recently regarding what constitutes patentable subject matter in the fields of software and genetics. Developing reasoning and persuasive argumentation skills based on understanding legal precedent is key to developing other skills useful for counseling a client.

In this regard, meeting in person or by phone regularly with clients with partner approval and assistance, can help develop an attorney’s counseling skills to no end. Learning how to
understand a client’s problems first-hand and helping to brainstorm and resolve disputes and issues is key to adding value for your client and practice.

Speaking with biotech clients can mean more than providing legal advice. Consider learning more about the science that underpins a client’s business. Not only can this exercise help an attorney better understand the context of potential legal issues, but it can help instill confidence in the client to the extent they appreciate that their attorney understands the company’s technology.

Attend CLEs! That, of course, is a key way to satisfy your state’s legal education aspect of their licensing requirements, and also offers numerous opportunities to develop practical skills.
Also consider subscribing to key email-delivered newsletters in one or more particular fields of interest. Nobody opts for a larger-than-necessary email inbox, but a designated folder
to save industry newsletters can help you keep up to date with developments in a particular area be it biotech law or some aspect of biotechnology, such as agricultural genetics and food regulations. At least with respect to patent law, it can be essential to pass the patent bar to obtain a registration number and thereby work independently and directly with the USPTO. Attorneys who do practice patent law (but don’t engage directly with the USPTO) do exist, but it could be difficult to professionally advance within a practice without taking the
patent bar exam and earninga patent registration number.

Another way to gain practical day-to-day experience in IP is to work for the USPTO as an examiner. Consider also whether an LLM from a local university in a particular legal field is of interest and desirable for developing your specialty. As far as industry experience goes, working in-house certainly could be an attractive way to develop all-around, hands-on skills in legal aspects concerning focused attention on particular products and business strategies.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area. 

Rather than, or in addition to, applying directly for specific job opportunities, it may be helpful to arrange informational interviews with partners, senior counsel, and attorneys at law firms to effectively network in a personal and targeted environment. You can this way learn more about the firm’s strengths in particular areas of biotech law, as well as implicitly sell yourself as someone deserving a call-back when opportunities arise later. A lunch with one or two attorneys can be worthwhile, as well as telephone calls, or on-site visit for 30 minutes or so.

A new attorney may also want to develop relationships with one or two recruiters who will be able to evaluate resumes and more successfully pair candidates with employers who have not
publicly announced openings. A recruiter may likely keep you in mind for future reference as a suitable, or even ideal, candidate to match their client’s job opportunity profile requirements. Of course, networking by participating in bar association events, luncheons, and seminars, can be
critical for announcing your presence in the biotech law community. Get active in committees, such as the ABA's Biotechnology Law Committee, or in other biotech powerhouse associations, such as AIPLA, BIO, and state-specific organizations like iBIO in Illinois.

An attorney may want to create a presence online and the careful use of social, or professional, media, such as LinkedIn, to post resumes and details about yourself online, can be helpful.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

There are two constructive ways to generate business within a law firm: internally and externally. The first effectively involves marketing yourself as a reliable and hardworking attorney
to whom partners and associates can turn to and enlist in projects. Slowly developing relationships with people with whom you work could lead to new and different types of projects, or could solidify relationships with different clients. Become an expert in a niche area - credentialize yourself internally within the firm to obtain business internally within the law firm from other partners. Internal marketing of your skills and particular areas in which you excel, therefore, could result in more projects, i.e., business, that leads ultimately to supervisory and go-to responsibilities with the client.

In this regard, therefore, try and generate business externally, which can be tough for new attorneys. There are two main ways of generating external business from (1) existing clients and (2) bringing in new clients. With respect to the former, let
existing clients know of other aspects of their business that you can serve, such as licensing, market branding, negotiations with third parties, developing presentations, and litigation advice. Directing these needs to the experts in the law firm can help
position yourself as an integral member of a team dedicated to serving various client needs, and also boost your own credentials within the firm; plus, by seeking out other aspects of
the client’s business that aren’t already being handled by another law firm can help develop your skills in different areas that we discussed above.

With respect to pulling in new clients, some partners are particularly good “rainmaker” attorneys. They are constantly bringing in a stream of new work, thanks to their proactive
efforts to sell and market the firm’s expertise and resources. It could help to ultimately position you as a recipient of new business if you have an opportunity to help those partners with presentations and pitches, or travel with them to on-site  meetings.

Expand internal expertise to the outside client base by publishing or distributing firm-approved newsletters and case law alerts. When soliciting such new clients and new business,
just be careful about attorney obligations under the professional responsibility and “advertising” rules. While a law firm may typically review materials being published for public review, it is good practice to revisit those rules.

Make presentations at key symposia, and conferences, trade shows, and big- ticket marketing events, such as BIO, AIPLA, AUTM, and ABA Annual Meetings. Join a bar association and actively engage members in topics or discussions in areas of biotech law that interest you.

Conclusion
These, then, are simply opening suggestions for ways in which you may constructively develop your professional skills as an attorney and counselor. We at the Biotechnology Law
Committee would like to hear from you about your own career development ideas and progress, which we can share with our members and readers in our continuing efforts to provide
career development advice and commentary.


Cleantech Climate Change

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:
Geared Toward Cleantech Climate Change Law Practitioners
By: Susan Mac Cormac, San Francisco, CA Kennneth Markowitz, San Francisco

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

Cleantech offers a great opportunity to young attorneys, because the legal landscape in this practice area is still developing. Attorneys who closely follow business and legal
developments, participate in conferences, and publish articles can become thought leaders in this space.

Cleantech encompasses a wide variety of traditional legal specialties, from intellectual property, to corporate, to labor, to project finance and environmental law. If interested in pursuing Cleantech IP, advanced degrees can be very useful in helping you understand your client’s technology. However, Cleantech does not generally require advanced degrees or a history
working in the industry, although it can be helpful. What is most important is that you stay current in your knowledge of this evolving field. In many cases, it may be best to learn by
doing.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

Many new attorneys are interested in this field, so it is important to make yourself stand out by having a clear vision. Get in the habit of tracking business developments and new regulations.
Become an expert in a niche area such as the smart grid, solar energy, or greenhouse gas regulation. Attend networking events and learn what areas are creating a lot of buzz in the
business community.

For experienced attorneys looking to break into this field, it is probably best to determine whether Cleantech overlaps with your existing practice area. You may be surprised what
you find. For example, a privacy attorney may find relevant work relating to the smart grid or a corporate attorney may take new interest in disclosure requirements as they relate to sustainability. By starting with areas that are already familiar, you may be able to build a bridge into a new practice area.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

The potential for market growth in the Cleantech field has caught the attention of most major law firms and many boutique firms. The legal market is flooded by firms looking to capitalize on this opportunity. However, because this is a new legal area, very few attorneys can claim decades of
experience in the field. It is important to cultivate concrete skills and experience that distinguish you from the competition. If you do not yet have many Cleantech clients, consider doing
some pro bono work. There are many early stage Cleantech companies that could use your help and these experiences can help you hone your skills in the field.

E-Privacy Law

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:
Geared Toward E-Privacy Law Practitioners
By: John P. Tomaszewski, San Francisco, CA

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

The best way to develop day to day expertise in e-Commerce law is to work with the Section of Science & Technology Law on developing content. Each of the Section’s committees, such as the E-Privacy Law Committee, and sub-committees are grappling with the problems that no-one really has a good answer to, yet. As a result, you are going to be part of the solution to emerging areas of law without having to “sit at the knee” of a mentor who may not have your best interest at
heart.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

If you can find work, that is great too, but to find work you need to have some sort of way to show why you are different (better, cheaper, etc.) than those who already have a book of business with your target clients. Content creation and “free advice” (via speaking engagements, webinars, tweeting, etc.) are some of the best ways to 1) get your name out, and 2) be seen as a viable alternative to more traditional lawyers. Professional association groups, such as the E-Privacy Law Committee, are an excellent opportunity for content creation.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

You may obtain referrals from other lawyers, but industry entrepreneurs are also good sources for business. With the content you develop, offer your thoughts to colleagues and industry associations who *will* be your prospective clients. If you are in banking, speak at the state banking association’s annual conference. If you are in SOX compliance, speak to the Institute of Internal Auditors annual conference. The ABA is the place to develop your expertise. Regardless of whether you are looking for a job, or want to get into another practice type, being able to develop clients and continue to develop
expertise in the areas your clients see as risks are the way to grow a practice.

 

Information Security

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:

Geared Toward Lawyers with Interest in Information Security
By: Kathryn Coburn, Santa Monica, CA

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

Information Security Law is a challenging, rapidly developing practice area. Virtually all industries use networked computers to process, transmit and maintain digital information. As a result, Information Security Law covers broad territory.
Expertise necessary for day-to-day practice in Information Security Law is best developed by focusing on a particular industry. New attorneys can acquire knowledge about where
and how digital information flows throughout the chosen industry. It is important to become familiar with the technologies and pathways used to transmit information
electronically in that industry and to stay current. Working in the chosen industry for a period of time to acquire the necessary background is an excellent way to do this.
Attorneys entering the practice of Information Security Law do not need advanced degrees, although advanced degrees help considerably in understanding the relevant technology.
Attorneys in this field do need to know and understand the legislation that regulates transmission of digital information by the industry. It is important to acquire a basic understanding of the technologies used to transmit, maintain and secure digital information. To do this, you may consider taking a course and obtaining a certification, such as CISSP (Certified Information
Systems Security Professional), but neither certification nor an advanced degree is required to practice in the field of Information Security Law.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

Become an expert in a particular evolving industry that uses digital information. Digital information is used in just about every industry. Therefore, try to find a new industry that will
be less crowded than the others. Learn everything you can about the operations of the new industry and the technologies involved: the key people, where they are located, where they rout their digital information and why they need legal assistance in order to accomplish their business objectives.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can Idevelop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

Hone your skills by keeping up with new technologies for information security and the rapidly developing statutory and case law, state and federal. Client satisfaction and referrals are the best way to develop business. You may want to send out a
client satisfaction survey. Attend networking events to meet prospective new clients. Membership in a professional organization, such as the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law Information Security Committee, helps to hone your skills, learn more about the industry, and network to meet  prospective new clients.

Museums and the Arts

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:
Geared Toward Lawyers with Interest in Museum Law
By: Gilbert Whittemore, Boston, MA

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

A somewhat unique aspect of working for museums is that there is no defined intellectual specialization of “museum law”. As clients, museums face many legal issues common to most private entities, such as contract negotiation, employment issues, and real estate transactions. They also face some issues less common, such as internal governance for a non-profit, conflict of interest rules regarding collecting, fiduciary responsibilities for collections and financial assets, and
intellectual property licensing.  Finally, there are a small number of issues directly related to museums, such as collection care,
acquiring items for a collection (“accessioning”), and removing items from a collection (“deaccessioning”). A few attorneys obtain a degree or certificate in museum studies, typically from a local institution on a part-time basis which does not interfere with continuing the practice of law. However, undertaking such formal studies is probably best deferred until you have actually begun to develop contacts with various museums and gain first hand experience with how they operate. Most states also have museum associations with annual meetings and programs, which provide both education and opportunities to meet non-lawyers who work for museums.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

You should take a long-term view of seeking work with museums as a means of developing general visibility. Most museums are underfunded, and actually hire attorneys only for major problems or specific projects. As a result, many museums do not consult with attorneys as frequently as they should. This provides an opportunity for pro bono work, especially for attorneys who are not litigators qualified for pro bono in court, but who wish to contribute to the local community in some way. From the view of career development, serving as a volunteer or member of a committee or board can be an excellent way to develop visibility and contacts within your community. Only a small number of attorneys actually earn a substantial portion of their income from museum work; most who do so combine work for museums with a specialized practice in the fine arts world. An attorney should see work with museums as a form of charitable or community service work for institutions who by their nature have fascinating collections, exhibits and programs. An experienced attorney may find this a very satisfying culmination of a career by engaging in pro bono work which draws upon skills developed over many years. Often, specific needs which seem daunting to professional
museum staff are fairly straightforward for an experienced attorney. As museums move towards increasing their internet presence, members of the Science & Technology Law Section may be able to offer special knowledge and skills which other attorneys lack.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective
clients?

The best way to meet a wide variety of museums is to become active in a museum association or professional group, such as the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law Museum Law Committee. These exist at the national, state, and sometimes local level. They hold annual meetings and educational
programs which provide an opportunity for both education and meeting people. ALI-ABA also holds an annual conference where, unlike most legal education conferences, non-attorneys equal or outnumber attorneys. Such meetings also provide the opportunity to participate as a speaker, providing broader exposure.

Unless one is lucky enough to spot an advertisement for a paid position with a museum, the best way to become actively involved is to volunteer. This need not be legal work at the outset; it may be volunteering as a docent, or serving on an internal committee. It will not take long for the museum
staff to spot attorneys who are willing to provide pro bono assistance. This provides visibility when this museum, or another, seeks an attorney for billable work. The museum world in most localities is fairly small, and word travels fast.

Privacy and Computer Crime

SciTech’s Career and Business Development Guide:Geared Toward Privacy and Computer Crime Law Practitioners
By: Jody Westby, Washington, DC,

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

One of the best ways to develop expertise in the privacy and cybecrime area is to participate in public-private sector groups, such as the FBI’s Infragard program or the Secret Service’s
Electronic Crimes Task Force. In addition, obtaining professional certifications, such as the CISSP or the CIPP, is advantageous. Actively participating in this committee’s work and volunteering to write articles or participate in projects is also extremely helpful.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

The opportunities in the public sector are especially rich right now. Pay attention to advertisements in trade publications, legal media, and the general press pertaining to job fairs in the IT area. Many companies are hiring legal expertise to work internally and these are not always in the general counsel’s office. In addition, networking in professional organizations is also an excellent avenue for building relationships and learning about job opportunities.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

Speaking and writing are two of the best ways to get known. Blogs also should not be discounted. If well presented, visibility can reward effort. Conferences are also a good way to learn about a company’s needs or issues: listen closely to speakers.


Technical Standardization

SciTech Career and Business Development Guide:
Geared Toward Technical Standards Law Practitioners

By: Michael Hawes, Houston, TX, Jorge Contreras, Salt Lake City, UT

1. As a new attorney entering your committee’s area of law, how can I develop the expertise to practice day to day? For instance, should I obtain a certain kind of advanced degree? Should I work in industry for a period of time?

Assisting clients with the legal issues surrounding technical standards is a hands- on endeavor - rather than an academic one. The standards practice is an interdisciplinary one, combining elements of antitrust law, intellectual property, and litigation. While there are no advanced degrees that are particularly useful in developing this expertise, there are opportunities in both government and industry to gain valuable experience. For example, the National Science and Technology Council has a Subcommittee on Standards that was established this year. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) promotes standards education and makes available numerous educational materials on its web site (www.ansi.org). In addition, both the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice regularly consider issues arising from technical standard setting activity. On the industry side, there are both companies and organizations heavily involved in setting technical standards. The IEEE is an example of an organization with a well-established standards process that interacts with companies that develop and sell computer,
telecommunications, and storage products. Some organizations, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which develops the standards underlying the Internet, are open to the public and anyone can observe and participate in their activities. Taking time to work in the government or in
industry will not only give you an opportunity to learn about how technical standardization occurs, it will give you a chance to establish relationships that will be valuable to you as an attorney.

2. As an attorney ready to practice in your area of law, how can I most effectively find a job? I may be a new attorney looking to start. Or I may be a more experienced attorney looking to make a change. Perhaps I am an attorney in another area of law looking to enter this practice area.

Attorneys often consider three types of positions: employment at a law firm in privatepractice, employment with a company addressing the legal issues that company faces, or government
employment. All three types of employment are possibilities in the area of technical standardization. Few law firms have an exclusive focus on the technical standardization area. As a result, an attorney seeking to enter that area would want to look for a firm known for the broader practice areas of technology law, antitrust law or intellectual property and then focus your practice over time as opportunities to assist clients with technical standardization issues arise. Those firms would be
interested in experience and contacts in the technology industry - flaunt them if you have them. Publish articles and speak on topics relating to standards in order to promote your knowledge both within your firm or company and to the outside world.

Employment as counsel at a technology company can be a faster road to the technical standardization area. Many companies have sufficient involvement in standards to want one or more attorneys focused on those issues. A resourceful attorney can measure the interest a company has in
standardization by seeing (1) whether it participates as amicus in important standardization cases, (2) whether it submits comments to the FTC on rules changes relevant to standardization, and (3) whether the company’s employees have leadership roles in standardization organizations. But on balance, any company with substantial operations or products in telecommunications, computing, networking, semiconductors or software is likely to have a strong emphasis on standards. You have a better chance of interesting a company in a new lawyer who wants to focus on technical standardization if the company has alreadyshown a willingness to invest in the area. Government jobs follow the budgeting process and arepublicized according to specific rules. Once you know which government agencies and departments address standards issues, as described above, you can then check how
they give notice of open positions to research if there is a match.

3. As an attorney actively practicing in this area of law in a law firm, how can I develop more business? How can I obtain new clients in this area? Where are good places to meet prospective clients?

First, you will want to do some research and identify standards organizations that are both active and addressing markets or products in which you are interested or have contacts. If you
already have contacts in companies that participate in those organizations, you may want to approach those contacts to see if you can set up an informal meeting with the employees who handle standards activity - use one contact to make another. If you don’t have preexisting contacts, you can check whether there are conferences that are attended by many of the people working on the standards. Attending those conferences can lead to contacts or speaking opportunities where you can make your expertise known to the decision makers who direct the legal work for their organizations. Most importantly, seek to join
professional organizations that can help connect you with established professionals in this area.

In addition to the ABA’s Section of Science & Technology Law, you may also consider the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), both of which have strong standards-related committees.