deLevie on Legal Technology and Legal Hacking

An interview with software developer and law student Alan deLevie of American University has been posted at LawLytics: Attorneys, Learn To Code (Part II): Interview With A ‘Legal Hacker’.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

[…] We ended Computer Science Education Week with a conversation with coder-turned-law student Alan deLevie.

[…] As a “Legal Hacker,” deLevie strives to use technology to improve the law, and vice versa.

LawLytics: What do you see as the most important emerging legal tech?

deLevie: […] anything that adds structure to unstructured text is huge. One example of that is citation extraction, which I think will help form the basis of a lot of intelligent legal systems. Right now, as a law student I can use coding skills to study smarter. I’m building a tool where I can upload my outline with a bunch of case names, and it will returns links to those case names with auto-generated summaries. […]

What are Legal Hackers?

I co-organize a group called DC Legal Hackers (@DCLegalHackers). The other organizers, Jameson Dempsey and Rebecca Williams, were involved in the New York legal hacking scene at the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which is where it all originated. In addition to DC and New York, there are legal hacking groups all over the country.

We like to define a legal hacker as anyone who cares about using technology to improve the law, and vice versa. In this sense, a hacker isn’t someone who gains unauthorized access to anything. It’s a positive mindset where you’re always trying to modify and re-purpose existing systems to your advantage. […]

What else can learning to code teach attorneys?

Coders are very conscious of how they build and how they work. […] This focus on process would serve the legal space well. For example, if coders had to pass around a Word doc with Track Changes through attachments […], they’d […] propose a move to Dropbox or […] GitHub or something like that. […]

For more details, please see the complete interview.

HT @LawLytics

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