Here’s how to join the tech bandwagon with your law degree.

21 || February || 2024

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#Issue 55

How to move into
law through tech

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If you are looking to move from law into tech, we bring you good news. This week, we spoke to seasoned lawyers who offered insighton how to transition smoothly.

As you read today’s edition, please share it with your network across social media and tell us what you think so we can improve.

by Faith Omoniyi

How Okechukwu Eke did it

Right after law school, Okechukwu Eke, the general counsel at fintech Moniepoint, knew his core strength was in corporate law and not litigation. His love for finance drove him into his first role as a legal counsel at a Nigerian commercial bank, Fidelity Bank, in 2008. 

Okechukwu Eke, General Counsel at Moniepoint

Eke, with a career now spanning 15 years, says starting at Fidelity Bank built the groundwork for his transition into tech. At Fidelity, alongside his work handling litigation management, dispute management, contract review, and drafting, Eke reviewed technology agreements and e-business agreements for the bank. He moved on to support the corporate banking and e-business team at First Bank. Eke also handled similar responsibilities when he joined Diamond Bank and Union Bank. 

His eventual switch to tech came in 2019 when he joined Interswitch, the payment giant. According to him, the move was a major shift from his banking experience as he was rocked by the fast-pacedness of startups. 

Now that you have a peek into Okechuckwu’s story, here’s how you can write yours.

Paths to pursue in tech

First, you’ll need to acquire the skills and choose a path to pursue.

Like Eke, you’ll need the first identify where your passion lies and learn the core skills to help you thrive in that chosen path. Eke says contract drafting and negotiation skills are a must-have. Deepening your knowledge of tech law within both local and foreign jurisdictions alongside possessing excellent corporate and commercial knowledge is essential. 

Awuese Iorchor, Associate at Hamu Legal

On the soft skill rung of the ladder, Awuese Iorchor, an Associate at Hamu Legal, says you must also have adaptability, collaboration, and problem-solving skills handy. 

When you have all this sorted out, here are a couple of open paths our experts recommended.

  • Technology Transactions Attorney: This area focuses on legal aspects of technology deals, like software licenses, cloud computing agreements, data transfers, and mergers/acquisitions involving tech companies. Drafts, reviews, and negotiates contracts to ensure terms are clear and protect clients’ interests. Requires knowledge of intellectual property (IP), data privacy, and technology industry standards.
  • Privacy and Data Protection Lawyer: This deals with legal compliance concerning data collection, storage, and usage, often involving regulations like GDPR and CCPA. A privacy and data protection lawyer advises companies on data privacy policies, breach response procedures, and regulatory compliance strategies. Being successful in this role requires an understanding of complex data privacy laws and evolving regulations across jurisdictions.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Attorney: Here you will be required to protect and utilize clients’ intellectual property assets like patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. An intellectual property lawyer drafts patent applications, prosecutes patent claims, litigates IP disputes, and advises on the strategic use of IP assets. The skill set needed for this role includes expertise in specific IP laws, and litigation practices, and an understanding of various technological fields.
  • In-House Counsel for Tech Companies: An In-house counsel provides legal advice and representation directly to a tech company, handling employment law, contracts, data privacy, IP, and regulatory matters. They manage legal risks, support business operations, and advise on strategic decisions from a legal perspective. This role requires broad legal knowledge and understanding of the specific company’s industry and business goals.
  • Company secretaries: This role consolidates a company’s compliance arm. Company secretaries are primarily responsible for ensuring a company’s compliance with corporate governance regulations and best practices. They also oversee board meetings, manage shareholder interactions, maintain company records, and facilitate compliance with legal requirements. Strong organizational skills, knowledge of corporate governance rules, and attention to detail are essential skills needed to thrive in this role. P.S Every company in Nigeria needs a secretary and only lawyers, chartered accountants or chartered secretaries can be secretaries for public companies!
  • General counsel role: Just like Okechukwu Eke of Moniepoint, Adedolapo Adesina of Kuda, and Gbolahan Olayemi of OPay, the general counsel acts as the chief legal officer for a company, leading a team of lawyers and managing all legal matters. They provide strategic legal advice to the CEO and executives, oversee litigation, and represent the company in legal matters. This role requires extensive legal experience, leadership skills, and a deep understanding of the company’s industry and business.
  • Emerging tech attorney: As new technology—AI, blockchain, fintech, and cybersecurity—emerge so is the need for lawyers to focus on legal issues surrounding them. Emerging tech lawyers advise startups on how to navigate the legal landscape of these emerging areas, often involving uncharted territory. Your willingness to learn, adapt, and keep up with the rapidly changing legal and technological landscape are essential ingredients for succeeding in this role.

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How to get your first role

Now that we have talked about the core skills and different career paths that exist within tech law, it’s time to learn how to land your first tech role. If you have zero experience with working with startups, Eke says applying for internships in smaller tech startups is a good place to start. This allows you to learn the ropes in a dynamic environment and build relevant skill sets. 

As you grow in the field, Iorchor offers reassurance, reminding you that countless others have paved the way before you. Both Iorchor and Eke emphasise the importance of continuous learning. 

They suggest reaching out to mentors in the field, taking online courses and boot camps, and attending Legaltech events. Eke says you can join established communities like Legal 500, the International Bar Association Technology Law Committee, and the International Legal Technology Organisation

You can also follow prominent folks in the tech law space like Saadatu Hamu Aliyu, Managing Partner at Hamu Legal, Tochukwu Okezie, Chief Legal Officer & Company Secretary at Interswitch Group, Gbenga Haastrup, Global Head of Legal Compliance at Umba, and many others. 

While a career in tech law looks promising, it is not without its challenges. Constantly changing regulations and laws is one part of the divide. Also, tech companies often do not see the importance of employing a legal counsel early enough. According to Iorchor, trying to balance your daytime jobs with getting familiar with new tech skills might also be a stumbling block. 

As they say, no pain, no gain. 

That’s it, learned colleagues. If you have any thoughts or questions about today’s edition, please reach out to us at and we’d be happy to speak with you.

Ask a techie

Q. I am a computer science undergrad and we are required to go for industrial training programmes in a few months. I am concerned because I have no skills and I don’t know how to go about applying for internships and all. Can you please advise me?

No worries, feeling unprepared is normal! Here’s the key:

1. Develop Your Skills:

  • Identify your interests: Think about what areas of computer science you find most exciting and where you see yourself working in the future. This will help you focus your skill development efforts.
  • Build foundational skills: Ensure you have a strong grasp of core programming languages like Python, Java, or C++, and data structures and algorithms. These are essential for most computer science roles.
  • Explore different areas: Try taking elective courses or participating in workshops related to your interests, like web development, data science, machine learning, or cybersecurity.
  • Contribute to open-source projects: This is a great way to gain practical experience, collaborate with others, and showcase your skills on your resume.
  • Build personal projects: Work on projects that interest you, even if they’re small. This demonstrates your initiative and ability to problem-solve.

2. Prepare for Internship Applications:

  • Start researching early: Begin looking for internship opportunities a few months before applications open. Use resources like university career centers, job boards, company websites, and professional networking sites.
  • Craft a strong resume and cover letter: Tailor your resume and cover letter to each specific internship, highlighting relevant skills and experiences. Emphasize your strengths and enthusiasm for the field.
  • Practice your interview skills: There are many online resources and mock interview services available to help you prepare for technical and behavioural questions.
  • Network with professionals: Attend industry events, connect with alumni, and reach out to professionals in your field. Networking can open doors to opportunities and provide valuable insights.

Remember, the key is to start early, actively build your skills, and be proactive in your search. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and use the resources available to you. Good luck!

That’s all we can take this week. Have any questions about working in tech? Ask away and we’ll find answers for you.👇🏾

Ask a question


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  • The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Tech4Dev have opened applications for the DigitalforAll Challenge 2.0. The program, which is divided into three categories: Young Learners (Ages 12-18); Youth Category (Ages 19-45); and Civil Servants, will reward winners and runners-up in each category with cash prizes. the winner from each category will receive₦10 million cash, while the first runner-up will get a consolation prize of ₦7.5 million. The second runner-up for each of the categories will receive ₦5 million. Apply here.


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Disclaimer: TechCabal is not affiliated with or associated with jobs and opportunities listed on all its job boards and newsletters. All applicants bear the responsibility of researching about the roles and companies they apply to.

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