Learning to code has become a big thing for lawyers. For this, we can thank the explosion of interest in legal tech over the past four or five years. Quite rightly, legal educators and regulatory bodies have realised that technology is changing the practise of law and that people entering the profession with the right skills will quickly get ahead in the new world. But is coding really one of those skills?
Don’t get me wrong, I personally think, and in fact encourage, lawyers to code if:
- There is a clear benefit to their career, their practice area or their Firm in general; or
- It is something they are truly interested in. Not because it is the latest fad.
Promoting coding as an essential part of a professional skillset is misguided. In particular, it stems from an outdated view of the software tools available to lawyers with ambitions to be creative with technology.
Example? Look at a product developed by one of our customers. It’s an app to ensure that US academic campuses are Clery compliant. For non-US readers, this refers to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a tragically necessary federal statute requiring publicly supported colleges and universities to keep and disclose crime incidents on and near each campus.
The Clery Act also requires an Annual Campus Security Report (ACSR) to be submitted by October 1st of every year. The Neota Logic built app ensures compliance by collecting and collating data throughout the year from campus safety policies, automatic incident tracking systems and crime statistics and automatically drafting an ACSR for each campus.
It’s a sophisticated and extensive piece of software ensuring mission-critical compliance with a federal statute and it was all developed using Neota Logic’s no-code, rapid-development platform.
Of course, not everyone will want to develop a solution of such sophistication. Where no-code really comes into its own is developing the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) which is the starting point for agile development.
This is where you ask: ‘What is the smallest thing you can build to do the job?‘ From there, you build the MVP, deploy it to the early adopters, test and iterate. Rinse and repeat until you get the final, production-ready version.
For this, the ideal tool is our newly-released prototyping tool, Canvas.
Want to try out Canvas for yourself? Neota Logic is offering a free 30-day trial. Complete this form to apply.