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What is a Legal Engineer?

What is a Legal Engineer?

By combining two of the worlds oldest and most respected professions, Legal Engineers will guide the future of society .

When humans developed agriculture and permanent settlements at the beginning of civilization, grain production and populations increased, requiring skilled individuals to collect, organize, duplicate and interpret information. As societies built multi-layered hierarchies of power to control large cities (and their armies) more rules were needed to keep order. The custodians of all these data and rules were scribes, who spent years learning writing and arithmetic systems. These ancient scribes with scrolls of papyrus formed collective guilds and training methods to pass along their intellectual craft. Over time, styli became feather quills, then fountain pens, and now QWERTY keyboards. The clay tablets and leaf-woven scrolls became linen and parchment sheets, then 20lb legal size paper, and finally LED touchscreens of all sizes. Over 5,000 years, scribes became the modern lawyer.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic depiction of a scribe.

As the first city-states improved their economic leverage and military power, they enabled citizens to specialize in more learned skills and trades. Since the gods required larger temples and the generals needed bigger ships and siege engines, another guild grew alongside the scribes. Engineers planned and oversaw the erection of the great pyramids, Angkor Wat, and the columned temples of ancient Greece. They improved the strength of samurai swords and the speed of Spanish galleons. By collecting, organizing and using technology, engineers achieved feats of strength and science that looked like magic to laypeople.

Complex projects require planning and diligent oversight.

Fast forward to today, and both the worlds of law and science find themselves at turning points of explosive growth. The legal process of discovery went from spending a day going through a desktop covered in files to supercomputers crunching millions of emails. Engineers went from flying buttresses to space stations and quantum computing. With the immense power available to those who combine these traditionally separate trades, it is imperative we guide the ethical usage of technology with law. Used for good, data science can help find bias in judicial decisions. Used another way, analytics can subvert elections and subjugate populations.

Legal Engineers are trained across scientific and legal disciplines to enable more efficient delivery and access to justice. They abide by a strict moral and ethical code of conduct, which lays out a duty not only to the clients they serve, but to their peers, employers, and (perhaps most importantly) society overall. The field of Legal Engineering is new, growing and gaining supporters every day. We welcome support of our society, and if you’d like to take a deeper look into what we do, see our practice area descriptions.

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