Backend Developer – Fletchers Solicitors AI

Salary: DOE

Location: Manchester/Hybrid

Role: Backend Developer – Fletchers Solicitors AI

Location: Hybrid – expect remote with once/month in Manchester/Liverpool

This role is for a Backend developer to join our new and expanding AI & Data Science team. They will be responsible for building the back-end systems and web apps that enable development, testing and deployment of our Machine Learning tools, including managing our data pipelines and infrastructure. This is a core part of a new exploratory project, that reports directly to the executive team as a sort of start-up within the wider business. We’re aiming to develop and implement Natural Language Processing and Large Language Model-based tools across the business, before eventually taking them to the wider legal sector.

About Fletchers Solicitors & the Data Science team:

Fletchers is a rapidly growing law firm specialising in personal injury and clinical negligence law. Over the last three years, we have had a small but successful data science project developing and implementing a decision-support neural network, and over the last 6-9 months have been building our data science team and capabilities. This small but growing team is tasked with developing and deploying a range of ML tools within our firm, with the ambition of commercialising these for the wider industry in the future. By leveraging the wealth of legal-medical data that Fletchers has, and the funding provided by our Private Equity owners, we are seeking to further develop our sector-specific ML tools. Our initial focus is on NLP tools for supporting or automating legal tasks, and decision-support systems, which we are developing through an experimental project that reports directly to the executive team.

Fletchers is based in the North-West of the UK, with offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Southport, Bolton, and Cambridge, although many of our colleagues work primarily from home. Our existing AI & Data Science team is spread across Cambridge, London, Manchester & Liverpool, and we currently meet once or twice per month in Manchester.

The role:

We are looking for a Backend developer and engineer to join our team to build web apps & back-end platforms to support the development, testing and deployment of ML and data analytics tools. You will design and build the web apps which serve an ML endpoint to in-house clients, either directly or through APIs in their existing case management software, and in the longer term you will formalise these apps for delivery to external customers. As these apps mature, you will also collaborate with data scientists and the infrastructure team to build efficient and scalable data and ML pipelines for them. For example, you might build an ETL pipeline from a range of unstructured Word & pdf files, to build specialised datasets and databases. Through this role, you will also guide infrastructure design decisions with your insight and research into the best existing tools, services, and ways of doing things.

To succeed in this position, you should have strong analytical skills, a great understanding of Python, good communication skills, and be comfortable designing and building back and systems from scratch. You will have a clear understanding of ‘what good looks like’ for web apps, data pipelines, and product engineering, and be comfortable building towards this from a minimal starting point. You will be happy working in response to broad instructions and take initiative in finding solutions to problems, and pushing to get your priorities done, with strong ownership over any product(s) involved in your work.

We are open to a range of candidates spanning junior-mid to senior roles so encourage suitable candidates to apply.

Main responsibilities:

  • Design and implement back-end apps and services responsible for deploying, testing, and improving ML enabled apps, including defining and building the CI/CD pipelines for these services
  • Contribute to and eventually own most of our infrastructure and architecture design decisions, by building a strong understanding of the business problem and collaborating with our existing teams
  • Have sole ownership for the backend infrastructure for several projects
  • Collaborate with and maintain close productive relationships with our data science, infrastructure, and front-end development teams across several projects in parallel
  • Build efficient and scalable data integration pipelines to stream data from our case management system to ML tools
  • Automate and monitor the deployment of ML models
  • Analyse and organize raw data from a range of sources (legal case management systems, unstructured word documents, pdf files, SQL databases etc.)

Requirements:

  • Proficiency with and detailed understanding of Python
  • Familiarity with at least one Python web framework (Flask preferable, Django or others acceptable)
  • Previous experience as a software developer, Python developer, or backend engineer (2/3+ years desirable)
  • Experience working independently or with reduced support, such that you are happy self-managing and owning the backend infrastructure for several projects (or a willingness to learn this)
  • Experience building new data environments & pipelines and ability to communicate pros/cons of different approaches

  • Based in the UK (Although the role can be primarily remote, we like to have in-person meetings around once a month)
  • Desirable:

  • Strongly Desirable: Start-up experience (building backends and data environments completely from scratch)
  • Experience using Redis
  • Familiarity with and understanding of ETL tools
  • Familiarity with NoSQL databases, and unstructured data (ideally text, documents, pdfs, etc.)
  • Previous experience with Azure
  • Knowledge of Machine Learning
  • Data engineering certification (e.g. IBM Certified Data Engineer)
  • Infrastructure experience

We have a fast ‘launch’ agenda, so reserve the right to close this role before the date specified depending on the calibre and volume of candidates.

Additional employee benefits as part of Fletchers Solicitors:

  • A bonus scheme paid yearly (subject to targets being met)
  • Pension scheme with salary sacrifice option
  • Life Assurance Policy
  • Medicash policy to cover some dental, optical, and other medical expenses, along with discounts on travel, cinema, electronics, home and groceries.
  • 35 days holiday a year including bank holidays and Christmas Closure, you also have an option to purchase up to 3 extra days holiday per year
  • Long service award: up to 3 days extra holiday, earned after of your 5th, 7th, and 9th full years of employment
  • Enhanced company sick, maternity, paternity and IVF pay scheme
  • Flexible, agile working environment with a positive work-life balance
  • Varied calendar of funded company social events
  • Location: Manchester/Hybrid
  • Salary: DOE
  • Department: Technology
  • Closing Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2024
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