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Letter One: Scoping “Legal Hacking”

§ June 3rd, 2012 § Filed under Correspondence § 1 Comment

[This post is part of an ongoing series of open correspondence with friends of Robot, Robot & Hwang LLP on the legal hacker. Details available here]

So, the big initial intellectual task in my mind is: what is legal hacking? And then: who are legal hackers? The game, as per usual, depends on definitions. Thankfully, those definitions seem to lend itself to a good overall structure of conversation here.

Amidst all the sturm und drang of discussion around “legal hackers” and “legal hacking,” it seems safe at least to say that the least useful definition here — pragmatically speaking — will be one that tries to cut something entirely out of new cloth. Instead, it’ll be more productive to build a definition from the types of things that people refer to when they use the phrase. In my experience, there’s sort of three broad categories of meanings that people try to express with the concept (that each come with their unique baggage). These are:

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