Coding For Lawyers

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Frequently Asked Questions

What? Lawyers and Coding?

It’s true. Lawyers can code. In fact, if you’re a lawyer, the truth is that it’s easier than you think. I am a lawyer, and a coder.1 In the course of two years, I have gone from knowing essentially nothing to being a decent coder in several languages. This book is intended to drastically shorten that time for others who, like me, decide that they want to learn to code.

Why this book?

One thing that I discovered, when learning to code, is that there are surprisingly few freely available books on the basics of coding, books that assume you know nothing about coding, books that assume you went to law school because you didn’t like numbers.2 And, we need more lawyers who code.

<http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawyers_and_developers_take_part_in_inaugural_hackcess_to_justice_legal_hac/>

What can I do to help?

At the moment, I am still making many decisions about this project, and I want your feedback. Is it worth it? Are any lawyers actually interested? Are the chapters too dense? Too easy? Are there topics that you definitely want covered? A great way to help would be to send me an email at dave@esq.io and let me know what you think. An even better way is to submit an issue on GitHub or submit a pull request.

When will you finish?

This is obviously still a work-in-progress. I expect that it will take me a few months to get it into 1.0 shape. If there’s a large demand, I’ll prioritize it accordingly. So, please send feedback.

How can I stay current on latest developments?

You can sign up for my mailing list: https://tinyletter.com/codingforlawyers. I promise not to use your information for any purpose other than to update you about this book. I will not knowingly share your email or any other personal information with any other person.

No banner ads? No fee?

No. Inspired by Matthew Butterick’s Practical Typography, it is my plan to offer this as a free ebook. But, if you feel compelled to contribute, I have set up a Dwolla Hub. No amount over $50 will be accepted and, due to ethical restrictions associated with my day job, if you happen to do business with the District of Columbia government, do not make any contributions.

Obviously not. Don’t be ridiculous.


  1. There’s not a great word for this. Developer? Civic hacker? Programmer?

  2. Full disclosure: I have a degree in mechanical engineering. I love numbers but most of my peers don’t.


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