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In-House Data Privacy, Cybersecurity Lawyers Are in High Demand, With Little Competition

Victoria Hudgins  | Law.com - June 8, 2020

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Despite GC appointments bouncing back after a dismal April, high-profile in-house legal department cuts may leave some in-house attorneys uneasy.

However, lawyers with a data privacy or cybersecurity background should take some solace in the growing in-house need for attorneys with their experience. As all companies’ risk expands with the enactment of new privacy regulations, the amount of lawyers with expertise in the budding space isn’t keeping up with demand, recruiters and industry observers say.

Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect May 25, 2018, John Gilmore, co-founder and managing partner of in-house counsel headhunter BarkerGilmore, has only seen a recent uptick in companies’ data privacy awareness in the last 18 months.

“Whether it’s a retailer, gaming company or financial services, anyone collecting public data and storing it tends to want a risk officer, and they typically prefer for them to have a JD,” Gilmore said. 

It’s not just the GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other potential regulations that are increasing the need for such talent. As companies welcome back their employees after COVID-19 shutdowns, some organizations are collecting more personal, including medical, data about their employees to avoid coronavirus exposure. Such efforts require more data privacy expertise in-house

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