Ari Hershowitz responds to a Quora post, discusses the disincentives that private practice lawyers face for document efficiency and mentions CommonAccord.  While agreeing with his observation that the innovation is coming from unconventional legal companies, my experience is that incentives play only a small part. 

I think the key issue is cognitive.  The incentives argument over explains and under explains.  It doesn’t explain the rather considerable efforts by some law firms to automate areas of document creation.  The tools of Contract Express, Exari, HotDocs, BrightLeaf and the like are being used.  It also doesn’t explain why in-house counsel, CIOs and even the open source community (e.g., SPDX, Oasis-Open) have not really solved the problem. 

The cognitive issue is failure to notice that legal docs are textually the same as interpreted code.  There is a similar movement in documentation for software.  Dan Allen (@mojavelinux) says treat your documentation like code.   

 

 

Advertisements