/
16.09.2019 at 10:32 am
Cuttings

Legal Practice & Taking From Software Best Practices

My litigation style is gradually taking cues from software engineering best practices.

Or so it seems.

I heavily use Python, Git and Sublime Text in my legal practice. I also apply version control, automation tools, data validation, testing, diagrams/flowcharts, large codebase/text analysis and diffing, structured syntax (like Markdown and YAML), etc. And I write many custom tools or scripts in between, and use libraries from other sub-disciplines (data science tools like Pandas and Numpy, and natural language processing libraries like NLTK).

I use such tools to solve legal problems, for which my usage applies to virtually all aspects of my court work as counsel and/or solicitor.

I understand that what I do is very uncommon for lawyers. But I don't do this just because I 'can'. I do it because I think it's necessary: with these tools I expedite work and remove potentially-costly mistakes; further I reduce my time spent by a factor of 5x of more, easily. (I know, because I've done things the manual way before, in my earlier junior days. And I tracked time to compare.)

All this translates into savings for clients, and less legal labour. And most importantly, free time to do other interesting things.

As such I often suggest to learned friends that they look at and learn these new tools. The ones who try rarely put in the hours to go beyond surface exploration. This means that they then don't see (and can't understand) what the true benefits are.

Most however refuse. "I've no time", or "I'm busy", or "it's too complex" are standard answers.

Those aren't valid excuses. Especially for members of a profession who proudly assert that they are life-long learners.

Lawyers should be savvy. If our old tools are superseded by better, tested and well-engineered tools, with little to no drawback from their use (except perceived complexity), time must be made to learn and adopt them. The best features from other disciplines should also be readily taken if they help us as professionals. After all, doctors, architects and engineers keep up without problems - it's even expected of them to keep up.

If they can keep up, so can we. New tools should not be feared.


Filed under:
#
#
#
Words: 314 words approx.
Time to read: 1.26 mins (at 250 wpm)
Keywords:
, , , , , , , , ,

Potentially related:
  1. Moving Away from Todoist - to Taskwarrior, SSH & Dropbox - Part 2
  2. Moving Away from Todoist - to Taskwarrior, SSH & Dropbox - Part 1
  3. Copywork vs Master Studies
  4. Teach Thy Tongue to Say: 'I Do Not Know'
  5. Reflections - 43 Things I Learned or Did In 2019

Other suggested posts

  1. 21.07.2021 at 07:46 am / Basis for Base64
  2. 11.01.2019 at 06:39 pm / Clarity of Liskov
  3. 15.06.2015 at 12:00 am / Supposedly Cultivated Tastes
  4. 18.05.2015 at 12:00 am / Indian Judicial Writing
  5. 29.11.2013 at 12:00 am / ガラケー Garakei Evolution
  6. 21.04.2012 at 12:00 am / Cinematic Mass Effect
  7. 02.04.2012 at 12:00 am / Abstract Wall Painting
  8. 17.03.2012 at 12:00 am / Upper and Lower Hengsha
  9. 15.03.2012 at 12:00 am / Cel-Shaded Arena
  10. 14.08.2010 at 12:00 am / 百花繚乱
© Wan Zafran. See disclaimer.