By Special Request – IT Law

IT lawyers think it means IT as in Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. Be kind to them. Obviously that particular fantasy needs correcting because no lawyer should put the professional reputation of every other lawyer in jeopardy. But let them think that IT means ‘Information Technology’, not ‘Incredibly Tedious’.

Still, if you need your software patent protecting, have a view on whether Microsoft should incorporate Java, want to use Linux instead of Windows or Macintosh, are prepared to read up on GPL3 and go open source and know about VAX, Visual Basic, COBOL, C, C++, Fox Pro, Fortran, Z80 Assembler, Java, Ruby, Various 4GLs, XML, SQL and HTML, TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP, Web application servers and frameworks such as Apache Tomcat and PHP///////////////// – oh I’m sorry, I fell asleep there for a minute. It’s just so fascinating. Anyway, the great thing about IT lawyers is that they like to communicate by email (this is what a Blackberry is by the way. If you think – not that I ever did obviously – that you just wrote your message really small in white ink and posted it then you are irredeemably behind the times). So you never have to meet them. Which is a relief.

Advantages. Not everyone is interesting enough to be an IT lawyer so there might not be that much competition. Chambers are very laid back with open neck shirts and jeans the order of the day. This is to put the clients at ease since, obviously, the usual barristers’ way of doing this – i.e. with their personality – is closed to IT lawyers. It is a developing area which means that your guess is as good as anyone elses. IT litigation is usually assigned to the Chancery Division so there is at least some chance of you appearing almost normal compared to other lawyers you meet. Your plumber will not be required as you will be able to flush your toilet via your intelliphone and your robot will do the repairs.
Disadvantages. All the Judges look about 16. Perhaps they are. Most of them are not listening to your case anyway because they are negotiating their own contract with a Magic Circle firm. If your Skeleton Argument will not open in 89 programmes running 16 formats with hyperlinks every other word, everyone will laugh at you. Most of your clients are start-ups so you will be paid in share options. This will allow you to wallpaper your house, but not much else. Alternatively you act for Microsoft and people shiver as you approach. Ultimately you are helping people have no free time at all and when you die your punishment will be to write by hand to everyone you ever emailed and tell them the story of your entire life. And you will deserve it.


5 thoughts on “By Special Request – IT Law

  1. I’ll have you know my mother thinks I’m very interesting. And I once met a client face to face: he was fairly positive about the experience his solicitor told me later.

    Mind you I am an IP lawyer as well so that probably accounts for me being extra interesting. Though from the sounds of it you’re the sort of wierdo who wouldn’t find compiling his own kernel productive. Tsh.

  2. Ah, you are one of those technology users who pretends -not- to like technology because it’s so uncool. And then shows their interest in technology by listing more geeky stuff than most geeks have even heard of.

    Having no interest in technology yourself, you presumably dictate your blog to a secretary who then types it for you? When it comes to writing things down, a keyboard cannot compete with your feathered quill.

    Admit it, you want to be an IT lawyer!

  3. At the risk of dispelling the myth, let me make it clear that I do not actually know anything about technology. Thanks to Martin George I can embed a link and I can type.
    I can also use Google. So if you tap in the name of IT chambers, go to the page about their work, copy their expertise from there, take out the case names and paste it into your blog, you can do what I did. Obviously that is without the dose of humour which makes this site such a must read.
    Do I want to be an IT lawyer (as it seems you are – and I don’t blame you for the anonymity in those circumstances)? It depends: what are my other choices? IT certainly beats death and torture. But if I could be, say, as Estate Agent…. hmmmm, tricky. 🙂

  4. Simon presumably if you were an IT silk your comments box wouldn’t fly up in a new window and bugger your accessibility which is probably in breach of the blah blah…….

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