Somebody asked me recently “What on earth is a cloud lawyer and how are you different to other lawyers”?
That person hasn’t seen the short video in my last post. Here’s a fuller answer:
What do I do as a cloud lawyer?
I read the cloud contract. It’s all too easy to just sign / click accept without reading the contract and spotting the risks. For example, if the cloud is truly flexible, why does it have a long lock-in period? Why are the sales promises not reflected in the contract and the service is provided “as is”? Why is liability for data losses excluded or capped at service credits?
I write the contract. “The party of the first part hereinafter referred to as…” Nobody speaks like that so I make sure I don’t write like that. I use modern, understandable English.
I get to know the industry and my clients. Of course I visit my clients and they visit me. I do the speaking circuits and attend the trade shows too. I also do the social and networking circuits. Reading text books behind a desk is great but cloud is moving so fast, you have to be in the thick of it to understand it.
How is a Cloud Lawyer different to other lawyers?
Lawyers are like doctors – you have generalists and specialists. A generalist can probably do a great job in diagnosing you need surgery, but wouldn’t you want the specialist to actually carry out the keyhole surgery?
Cloud and technology generally are littered with jargon. Public, private, hybrid, SaaS, PaaS, MSP, ISV, SLA, big data, always on, bandwidth, hosting, etc. These have different implications and I believe it’s best to use a lawyer who truly knows what this is all about.
Also, I know about law and regulation that applies to cloud. UK laws such as the Data Protection Act, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, Computer Misuse Act. Then there’s the USA Patriot Act and FISA and others.
I guess if you still don’t know what a cloud lawyer does, then maybe you don’t need one?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles “Law Key Shows Legal Or Judicial ” / FreeDigitalPhotos.net