DC lawyer shares insight into area’s future

When starting a business, a lawyer is almost always required to help a business grow and while it may go against common sense, lawyers work to save startups money in legal fees.

“Really what you’re doing is, you’re acting much more as a counselor. You’re telling folks how to get smart in terms of advisors, how to get from point A to point B much faster,” said Andy Lustig, partner at Cooley LLP.

As someone who contracts business in the D.C. area, Lustig said that the cybersecurity industry and other tech industries are reaching a point of convergence.

“What used to be very defined worlds in terms of federal markets and commercial markets, are now very much blended,” he told What’s Working in Washington.

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Since commercial and federal institutions are starting to require the same technology to function effectively, the markets are merging.

As a result, job opportunities have opened up to both areas. “You’re seeing folks that have skill sets coming out of the NSA (National Security Agency), coming out of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), that have been fighting cyber-battle for years… that translate completely into skills that can go develop a commercial product,” said Lustig.

Thanks to government training being applied to the commercial market, “now, more than ever, I think the level of brainpower in the area, and expertise… is probably at the highest it’s ever been,” he said.

The saturation of talent and startups, however, is starting to take a toll. “There’s a high level of fatigue among [venture capitalists], among investors, and consumers when it comes to cyber,” said Lustig.

“Everything is cyber now. Our gardener is cyber!”

Also gaining a big boost in the area right now is the internet of things, micro-sensor technology, and wearable technology.

“There have been for years, very meaningful applications of that technology in the defense world, so we’re definitely starting to see a resurgence of talents coming out of that world” and into the private sector, said Lustig.

Being a lawyer in this sphere is something Lustig enjoys very much.

“I’m kind of in a very fun place in terms of ecosystem where there’s a lot of positive activity. I don’t deal with litigation, I don’t deal with the bad stuff,” he said.

Listen to entire May 15 show:


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