Hi everyone, I’m a lawyer with 2-3 years of experience and I’ve been designing websites, creating content, and doing some SEO for more than 10 years, and I also have UX design education besides Law. I want to connect more with legal tech, a vast command point for software and legal.
The thing is I’m not sure which exact path to follow, but I’ve been thinking of going for data science, natural language processing area. I finished my code foundation courses and because of I’ve been designing websites since I was a kid, I have a modest amount of knowledge about HTML & CSS so it’s not rocket science for me to understand the concept.
Would you advise me to follow a computer science career path before starting this natural language processing career path or I can go just with that path because it both contains Python education and are both beginner welcome courses?
Well, are you interested in NLP? That is at the end of the DS path (part 14? of 19). Take a look at the DS syllabus–it’s not just Python but also SQL. Read up on DS and see if that fits what you want to do. Look at the CS path and see if what’s on the syllabus aligns with what you want to do with legal tech too.
You don’t need computer science knowledge to do anything else, the computer science course is mostly academic. It can help you understand what’s happening underneath it all, but you don’t really need that level of detail.
natural language processing (NLP) would be a great topic for the legal field (context: I’m an accountant that deals with a lot of legal issues myself) but I would say that web app development (ie, the full-stack course) is equally useful. Law firms are relying very heavily on easily portable web apps to do their business, and what I’ve seen is that there aren’t many good tools out there. There are a few case management tools, and for research you have the big ones like Lexis or Westlaw (which are typically already free if you are on the bar), but I think there is an open field there if you are creative enough.
That being said, my final note is that I personally would prefer NLP. I’m a data & analytics person (ahem, accountant) so that fits with my natural abilities much better than building a web app. But if you already have experience with UX and web development, you might have an easier time in the full-stack course.