Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Login
BROWSE
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Login
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

ANALYSIS: Contracts, Product Counseling Top Tech Lawyer Tasks

Aug. 8, 2022, 9:00 AM

In Bloomberg Law’s first-ever State of Practice Survey, we asked attorneys what practicing tech law looks like in 2022. For most respondents, it involves contracts, product counseling, and a whole lot of data privacy—not to mention some common pain points.

Roughly one-fifth of the 507 law firm and in-house attorney respondents reported working on tech-related matters. These 104 tech lawyers work primarily on commercial contracts (62%), copyrights and trademarks (44%), patents (43%), and corporate law (42%)—core practice areas that align with our 2021 Technology Transactions Survey results.

Drafting contracts is by far the top distinct legal matter handled by respondents (70%). Many respondents also selected other transactional matters, including licensing new technologies (44%) and advising on mergers and acquisitions (39%).

Most respondents (53%) also regularly counsel product teams, a role commonly referred to as product counsel. This area often requires a strong understanding of privacy policies, which many respondents (41%) regularly draft or update.

The graphic below details the legal matters and top pain points identified by respondents.

Made with Flourish

If you are having trouble viewing this interactive graphic, please enable third-party cookies on your browser. Terminal users, please click here to view this interactive graphic.

With regard to the pain points, nearly half (47%) of respondents identified the need for technical knowledge, which would no doubt come in handy for navigating the many emerging legal topics that, as illustrated in the graphic below, are already part of most respondents’ practices.

Made with Flourish

If you are having trouble viewing this interactive graphic, please enable third-party cookies on your browser. Terminal users, please click here to view this interactive graphic.

Echoing our 2021 tech survey results, privacy and cybersecurity dominate the emerging topics respondents work on. But another topic gaining traction—and one that most respondents (57%) deal with—is artificial intelligence. AI’s growing prevalence comes as multiple US agencies seek to prevent bias in automated decisions and the EU arms its regulators with tools to ensure algorithmic transparency.

As for the topics respondents are most likely to tackle in the future, digital currency and blockchain tied for first place (37%). However, even more respondents will likely not implement these fintech-related topics (48% and 45%, respectively)—a likely indication that many companies are not yet convinced that investment in digital assets is the way to go.

Bloomberg Law subscribers can find Practical Guidance documents, tools, and reference materials on a variety of privacy and cybersecurity topics in our recently revamped Privacy & Data Security Practice Center.

A July 2022 Bloomberg Law webinar that examines the role of product counsel, titled Privacy By Design: Considerations for Products, Transactions, and Vendor Management, is now accessible on-demand for all readers.

If you’re reading this on the Bloomberg Terminal, please run BLAW OUT <GO> in order to access the hyperlinked content, or click here to view the web version of this article.