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Why Future Lawyers Should Learn to Code with Codecademy

LSAT Blog Why Future Lawyers Should Learn to Code with Codecademy
I've known about Codecademy for a few years now, and I've always thought the site was awesome. It's a completely free resource that teaches you to program. What makes it so special? It teaches you through interactive lessons. It's a place where you learn by doing - the most effective way to learn.

About a year ago, when I first became interested in learning the basics, I barely knew anything about programming. I started with a book called Learn to Program. I would've used Codecademy, but I was afraid it was too advanced for me. Unfortunately, I got busy creating my LSAT video courses and dropped the project.

However, since I last checked, Codecademy has expanded their offerings to include the absolute basics. Anyone (and I mean anyone) can learn to program on Codecademy - without any experience. It's a million times easier than learning from a book.

One Codecademy course called Web Fundamentals teaches the basics of HTML and CSS. In fact, it's so basic that I already knew quite a bit of what the class teaches. (And, based on my blog's layout, you guys can tell I don't know much.)

So, if you don't have a website of your own and don't want to be a computer programmer, why should you learn to program?

In Sunday's New York Times, a journalist who spent a year learning to code described several ways she saw her reasoning abilities improve:

Yes, programming is challenging, frustrating and often tedious. But it offers satisfactions that are not unlike those of writing. The elegant loops of logic, the attention to detail, the mission of getting the maximum amount of impact from the fewest possible lines, the feeling of making something engaging from a few wispy, abstract ideas — these challenges were familiar to me as a critic. By my third month, I had internalized a new logic, a different way of looking at information.

Sound familiar? She might as well be talking about studying the LSAT!

After all, the LSAT also teaches us attention to detail, and it forces us to internalize a new way of thinking, one that we're not accustomed. If you're not taking the LSAT for several years, and you want to learn to think in a more logical manner, learning to program isn't such a bad idea.

And if you are taking the LSAT soon? Of course, you should focus on that. However, after you finish with the LSAT, learning to program can help you in a variety of ways.

First of all, it can teach you to think more logically. Aside from being useful in everyday life, this will also be useful in law school.

More directly, "code literacy" prepares you to live in a world increasingly dominated by computers. Each year, the technology sector controls a greater portion of our economy. How does this affect you?

The odds that your work as a lawyer will involve computer-based businesses are greater than ever. The field of technology law will grow significantly in the next few decades. A deeper understanding of how technology businesses work will help you do a better job as an attorney (and help you land client business).

And if you hang out a shingle as a solo practitioner? Well, one of the first things you'll have to do is set up a website. Do you want one of your first business expenses to be hiring a web developer for thousands of dollars? If you empower yourself by learning the necessary skills, you can save the money and gain a skill that helps you for the rest of your life. Additionally, you'll be able to help the friends you meet in law school do the same, and they'll send you clients in return for the favor.





17 comments:

  1. I was going to start to leaen to code but put it off. (I had math classes to cram for) but I have since seen the importance of knowing this skill and wished I had at least started.

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  2. This is flawless Steve, thanks! I've been looking for a place to start learning how to code and the books seemed kind of difficult to pick up.

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  4. I completely agree Steve. Just posted this to Reddit.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/1ty05z/why_future_lawyers_should_learn_to_code/

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  5. So true!!! Coding is so crucial to lawyers. I've been practicing for 9 years and I believe you're behind the curve without coding. I've starting learning to code:)

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  6. Too many damn lawyers already. Future lawyers should rejoin humanity and civilized society and choose another career path altogether... like coding!

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  11. nice post. i agree.

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  13. Yes, programming is challenging, frustrating, and often boring. You can check it and get to know much more from here as that was good enough for us. But it offers the same satisfaction as writing. Beautiful rounds of wisdom, attention to detail, the task of obtaining the maximum amount of influence from the smallest lines, the feeling of doing something from a few ingenuity, the conceptual ideas of these challenges are familiar for me as a critic. In my third month, I put in a new strategy, a different approach to information viewing.

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