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Is it possible to have a collaborative environment in Law?

As a lawyer and developer, I can constantly see myself reflecting on how those two careers - lawyer and developer - are so different, not only as per their content, but also as on how each of these professionals deals with the intellectual property of their work.

My precioussss draft...

The dev world is, in essence, collaborative. ¶

In particular, the effort on sharing knowledge by the dev community is something that draws my attention very much, mainly as regards open source projects, in which the work created by one programmer is constantly modified, completed and improved several times by other developers, sometimes giving birth to complex and unique software which their own creators could not possibly foresee. Many huge existing projects today would not see the light of the day if not by the joint effort of this community of developers.

Today there are many knowledge sharing platforms used practically by all devs in the world (such as Stackoverflow) in which coding doubts about each and any existing programming language out there are daily discussed, solved and further explored, free of charge, in a quick and clean way, in an (almost) altruistic joint effort.

The legal world is, in essence, exclusive.¶

The legal community, however, places itself in the exact opposite position.

Traditionally, lawyer use all the knowledge they painstakingly acquired thorough hours and hours of study, directly drinking from the knowledge fountain represented by well-know indoctrinators, combined with their own past experiences in many cases to then draft a document or thesis that is supposed to almost be a piece of art, Law in form of poetry and reason, so that their unique, exclusive and differentiated work make all the difference in the world to captivate a satisfied client in another success case.

Obviously, lawyers frequently share their knowledge through online videos, articles and by taking part on discussion forums, but always in moderation and not always due to actual altruism (remember, my video or article may be great, but ask a lawyer better! *wink*)

As a general thumb rule, however, thesis, templates and documents all become intellectual property of the respective lawyers and their firms, competitive leverage over their peers, and the sole idea of sharing all this without proper compensation may make our legal fellows shout for ethical violations - indeed, outrageous!

There is a global movement for collaboration.

As of now, you have certainly heard about sharing economy, a model defined as a peer-to-peer activity of acquiring, providing and sharing access to goods and
services in every imaginable field.

Sharing economy bruoght deep impacts on how we buy and consume assets and services today (such as services like Uber, in which you don't even need to buy a car anymore or AirBnb, in which buying a trip house only to stay a few days may see a waste of money). Also, even if the effects of sharing economy are somewhat common to us now, this reality is in fact relatively new, since the boom of companies providing such services date from not many years ago.

The development world, however, has older roots as regards the collaborative aspect of coding, being worth mentioning the most relevant example of Linux, the open source operating system developed by Linus Torvalds in the early 90s. To think that a open source code single-handedly developed would be one of the main platforms available in the world today is amazing. Today, more than never, the open source development world is vast and strong, with an active community that constantly creates unparalled software using joint efforts.

Is there room for collaboration in the legal world?

Does the collaborative spirit have room in the legal community? I believe so. Even if the legal field is traditional and somewhat loath to accept technology and joint efforts, I can clearly see a new generation of fresh minded lawyers coming to the work space, willing to face the Law as a green field apt to experimentation and improvement.

Those new minds want to push for the broader access of knowledge and even to better professionals by means of tecnology, and startups in the legal area (legaltechs) pop up everyday with interesting new proposals for such a traditional field, opening up the minds of lawyers for something different.

This new generation of lawyers, all connected, informed and curious, those who put aside the expensive suits and ties to seek more efficient, quicker and cheaper technological solutions for their clients. Those new lawyers embrace innovation as an opportunity to professionally grow instead of hiding behind absurd restrictions to new solutions designed to protect an illusory marked share.

The legal field is changing, and quick. If today many have an aversion to the mere thought of sharing knowledge, in a few years the lawyer who does not public show the world how much he (or she) knows and can contribute, will suffer.

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Is it possible to have a collaborative environment in Law? Is it possible to have a collaborative environment in Law? Reviewed by Octavio Ietsugu on June 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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