Great Lawyering

It’s hard to be a great lawyer.

It’s often thought generically that engineers manage code and lawyers manage words. The complexity of words is quite difficult to grasp especially when testing ones work is subject to interpretation and emotions.

Great lawyers and great engineers appear to share some traits, they speak and act with specificity. Both are constantly managing the short term feedback (what breaks right now) with long term feedback (how it scales and could break anytime in the future) to find new solutions. The long term is always a risk weighted decision which sometimes has another layer of specialization.

I feel like I am a decent communicator with engineers and lawyers for the same reason.


We can discuss and proceed based on agreed upon dependancies and constantly revisit them as we explore improvements. A great lawyer, like a great engineer, never ignores a dependency. They embrace them.

Both find new leverage in redefining a dependency through new solutions.

Bad lawyering is very hard to see in the early days. It doesn’t show up until it’s challenged by a unpredictable non-automated process.

In law and code, dependencies tend to catch the clever while enabling the correct.

Attorneys who can process and isolate the best solutions are really special and I feel fortunate to work with a number of them. I also feel fortunate to learn from them. They are some of my best teachers.

It’s not a perfect parallel but one I think of often. Each time I hear the words code of law, I’m reminded of this.

I really appreciate great lawyering.