The pandemic is not over, and 2021 will bear the burden of much of the trending experienced in 2020. One thing will be very different: Companies and law firms are back to hiring legal technologists with the regularity and ferocity seen before the pandemic. Some verticals (namely data privacy and protection and e-discovery) are going to produce greater volumes of jobs in 2021 than other areas, which will struggle for either budget (legal operations) or available talent (business development). Our predictions for the 2021 legal technology job market speak not only to the evolving ecosystem of employment opportunities within legal technology but also to how the community’s approach to interviewing and staff selection will adapt and change because of the pandemic—now, and in some cases, forever.

1. Speed Wins War for Talent. The world just spent a year hesitating about any hiring needs. There will be less uncertainty, despite continued abnormality, about the human capital requirements of organizations for 2021. This means more predictability around hiring, which means more decisive hiring decisions from employers compared to 2020. The average search lifecycle extended nearly three times its 2019 length in 2020 for everything from legal project managers to chief privacy officers. This has already changed, and speed of talent acquisition will be a key competitive differentiator for any hiring manager looking to lock in the best talent in 2021.

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