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Georgia State Legal Tech Competency Model

A guide discussing models and definitions of Legal Technology Competency


Tech Competency - What is it?

Lawyers, law librarians, legal technologists, and others have tried to define Legal Technology Competency for the past decade.  While we have come up with a number of lists, and some platform vendors have developed tech competency curricula, we still lack a way to look at tech competency in a holistic, programmatic way.  To solve this problem, the Faculty at the Georgia State College of Law Legal Analytics and Innovation Initiative have developed a new graduated, topical model to examine and develop tech competency.

The model itself has three distinct features - BASE Skills, topical quadrants, and graduated levels.  These features work together to help users establish basic technological competencies, as well as recognize that legal professionals will have differing requirements of competency depending on their current position or future career aspirations. 

The Model


See the B.A.S.E. Skills, Topical Quadrants, or Levels tabs for more explanation.

B.A.S.E. Skills

BASE skills, or Basic Applications, Skills, and Expectations, are the foundation of legal tech competency. These are the facets of tech competency necessary for all legal professionals to act as ethical and efficient professionals.

Topical Quadrants

  • Practice Technology -Tools that assist in the fundamental tasks of law practice. These include office applications, e-discovery, practice management, document management, filing systems, knowledge management, competitive intelligence, cyber security, and collaboration. 

  • Data  - Focuses on data-driven decision-making and data skills. Data literacy, coding skills, data products, and project         

  • Automation & Efficiency - Focus on the processes of technology. Includes tools and topics that allow for streamlining or practices and processing. Topics include things like process improvement, document automation, process automation.

  • Emerging Tech - Technology that is transforming how the law is practiced. Topics include AI, Apps, Entrepreneurship.

Graduated Levels

  • Know – this knowledge level represents a surface-level knowledge of the indicated topic area. Just knowing tiny amounts about legal tech topics can be incredibly helpful. Knowing a technology or tech solution exists is the first step in identifying solutions. 

  • Integrate – This level goes beyond knowledge of a tech topic or solution. The integrate level allows students and practitioners to integrate technology into their current practices to do things like to improve processes and work more efficiently or effectively.  

  • Create – This is the smallest, most specialized, and the highest level of tech competency. This level of knowledge allows users to create or conceptualize solutions using tech in these areas.   


This model is the subject of a forthcoming article Legal Technology Literacy, a framework for envisioning a technologically competent lawyer, University of St. Thomas Law Review (forthcoming Summer 2023.) by Michelle Dewey, Patrick Parsons, and Kris Niedringhaus.  The Model and explanations are still a work in progress, and we welcome any feedback. We hope to continue to refine the models and explanations as we work through this process. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the State of Georgia, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. Georgia State University College of Law and the authors of the works contained on this website do not assume or accept any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, currentness, or comprehensiveness of the content on this website. The content on this website does not in any manner constitute the issuance of legal advice or counsel. The information on this website is intended to provide resources that may aid the research of the topics presented, and are in no way a comprehensive list of sources one should consult on the topics presented. Please note that case law, statutory law, and administrative law may be modified and/or overturned. Additionally, because the laws vary between jurisdictions, the laws referred to herein may or may not be applicable to the law within the reader’s jurisdiction.