March 31, 2022

Why Lawyers Can Be Good Programmers

The wider use of technology, specifically computers or computer networking is gaining ground nearly in all fields. Law is no exception, where technology can be seen playing an important part in transforming the legal arena. It is expected to have even a greater role in defining the future of legal practice. Now, with the help of digital tools, powered by artificial intelligence and specialized software are digitalizing the monotonous and tiring aspects of legal practice is a sigh of relief for many lawyers. 

Amongst notable examples of digital tools include e-discovery, document management, basic legal research software, and contract automation tools that are in the extensive use of lawyers. Certainly, with the digitalization of legal practice, legal professionals and law students have begun using LegalTech tools more generously. This new trend suggests that technology is likely to promote legal knowledge and skills, often lacking in new lawyers. 

Since the advent of LegalTech, its use is in great demand, owing to its innumerable benefits. Now yet another facet of computer technology, “coding” has become a hot topic among lawyers like never before. Universities are offering interesting and experiential learning-based courses to law students, while law firms are heavily investing in their mid-professionals to learn how to code to keep up with the fast-paced digitalization process. 

Not too long ago, the computer was a discrete domain of technologists. Learning to develop full-fledged software is known as programming, was a pre-requisite for computer science jobs. And may have sounded alien to those souls, who had no expertise in computing. A part of programming involves coding which is skill-based knowledge that is now extensively used nearly in every field. Some knowledge of coding for lawyers can be useful, as it can improve their knowledge of the LegalTech tools available in the market. Thus, it can help lawyers to make an informed decision about incorporating the most useful tool in their firm, giving them a competitive advantage over others. 

In today’s article, we’ll explain the importance of programming for lawyers and how it can be beneficial for your private practice and your law firm. So, let’s get begin!

How important is coding for lawyers?

As a lawyer, your process of learning to code doesn’t necessarily mean dropping the idea of your legal practice for the sake of programming products. Since you do not need to specialize in coding. Therefore, your approach toward programming should be to achieve the goal of becoming familiar with its basics to the extent that can serve your purpose. 

Coding can help legal professionals to gain a deeper insight into the operations of digital tools and equip them with knowledge of tools useful for their practice. Additionally, having prior knowledge of coding can give you a better understanding of the work that you want a coder to do for your firm. An ability to understand both the languages of technology and law can help you identify beforehand, any potential constraints on either side that might jeopardize your practice. 

Can coding make you a better lawyer?

People have mixed opinions on whether coding for lawyers can make them better users of LegalTech tools, which can improve the efficiency of their workflow. On the contrary, some argue that lawyers’ limited professional time should exclusively be invested in learning law-based skills. The answer is somewhere in the middle. Because learning to code is solely dependent on your interest, the type of legal practice you want to pursue, and the need of your clients. 

Why lawyers can be good programmers? 

In the beginning, coding may sound a bit outrageous and an indifferent idea to you, as a lawyer. However, the skills and mindset that lawyers possess are quite like those of a programmer. Therefore, if you are confident about your lawyering skills then you should invest your time and money to learn the art of coding. Here’s why:

Problem-solving 

Most people might not be aware that programming is often about solving problems rather than actual coding. Someone, who lacks the patience to sit for hours to puzzle out issues cannot become a programmer. You need patience, be a problem solver, and be a logical thinker, which are the common grounds for both coders and lawyers to possess. 

Typically, lawyers are also found sitting for hours to interpret laws, write case briefs, conduct legal research, and use logical reasoning to resolve clients’ issues. Looking at coding from wide-angle shows that it involves processing information and solving problems. Lawyers often have to use whatever data they have available to them to work out solutions for making well-informed decisions for their clients. As a lawyer, if you are looking to enhance your analytical problem-solving skills, learning to code can be helpful. 

Automating manual tasks

You might be wondering how lawyers can benefit from coding in their day-to-day tasks. Learning how to code can be beneficial for legal professionals so they can automate numerous aspects of legal practice that are often cumbersome and boring.

 Automating manual tasks, whether by using technology software like SpeedLegal, or any other computer programming can help in streamlining your workflow, save precious time, and free you from the burden of manual work. 

For example, using SpeedLegal’s contract review service can provide you with a clear summary of your contract within a few minutes. With the help of an automatically generated table of contents containing specific dates, financials, keywords, and other important details extracted from the contract can save you from reading a lengthy contract, as well as your valuable time.  

Conclusion

Coding can be beneficial for legal professionals for myriad reasons. Undoubtedly, the LegalTech market around the globe is growing and law firms are extensively kick-starting initiatives by investing in their lawyers to learn the art of coding.

This depicts that law firms want their lawyers to acquire the basic knowledge of coding and other LegalTech tools. If lawyers know the coding, there are higher chances of their contributions to the internal development of the firm.