01 June 2021

Technology engineers and lawyers: Is it possible to work together?


Shayesteh, Acosta and Stoica comment on the key points that technology engineers and lawyers must follow to work together in their legaltech 

In legaltech, and in projects where engineers or technology experts work together with lawyers, there is an obstacle: understanding and cooperation. So how do we achieve them?

In a webinar organised by The Impact Lawyers, experts in entrepreneurship and in the viability of legaltechs commented on and provided keys to help lawyers work with technology engineers, with the aim of guaranteeing the success of their legaltech.

Specifically, Abdi Shayesteh, CEO and founder of AltaClaro; Daniel Acosta, founder of Legalnova and Theodora Stoica, founder of the CEE Legaltech Blog. 

Acosta says there is no secret about the difference in languages used by lawyers and engineers. Lawyers are focused on understanding the law, drafting contracts, but they are losing that idea that they are part of a market that connects to the economy, and that is why it is important for lawyers to focus on management and improving their skills. This is especially necessary when you are a lawyer-entrepreneur and have to interact with other professionals who are not lawyers. It is important to know which are the most relevant partners to make the project grow. It is important to know the value proposition offered by lawyers.

Lawyers have to improve their qualities beyond law and that is when they can interact better with other professionals

For Shayesteh, one of the most important issues for a legaltech entrepreneur, and especially for lawyers, is that "fun" projects can be serious at the same time, and serious projects can be "fun". 

On the other hand, it is difficult in the legal sector to maintain relaxed and refreshed communication with clients. The way services are sold, and the balance of maintaining a somewhat "fun" yet serious posture and extrapolating that tone of message to all aspects of the firm (branding, messaging, sales...), this factor can be very important.

Lawyers need to be precise and brief when communicating with their clients. 

Although engineers have many qualities, they share similarities with lawyers, such as discipline. This area of logical similarity between the two professions can help establish workable communication between lawyers and engineers

Lawyers are used to working in an aggressive market, but engineers are different. They are sensitive as well as artists. Abdi tells how he has noticed this different sensitivity among AltaClaro's engineers. He also advises that communication and feedback with engineers needs to be sensitive and effective. 

Shayesteh says that while the engineers mechanically perform the ordered tasks, the lawyers act differently as they seek to approach the tasks from other points of view. This component is important for lawyers to take into account

Finally, Abdi refers to design in the way they work. Engineers work from fully digital tools, while many lawyers still work with non-digital materials (manuals, printed contracts), this factor has to be understood by both sides. Lawyers have to be able to transform their mind to work more efficiently, reduce working time and learn to speak the same language as engineers. 

Stoica emphasises that lawyers must be educated to speak the same language as engineers. He also believes that engineers need to know how lawyers express themselves. 

When a professional, who is used to working by old methods, starts to discover a new way of working, he or she becomes more tolerant. And this happens with lawyers.

Stoica says that one of the keys to success is the didactic work of professionals from other sectors towards lawyers, in such a way that they teach them to speak a common language and that they can find similarities where they can succeed in projects.

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