Once thought to only be useful for engineers and computer geeks, coding is rapidly becoming not only commonplace but also necessary for many professions. This is even true for lawyers, as law firms are looking for lawyers who have experience with cybersecurity and patent lawyers aren’t knowledgeable enough about the software industry to fully understand potential lawsuits. Education focusing on computer science is even being implemented in grade schools, and for good reason. An article by the Huffington Post explains that if learning code is relegated to a small portion of the population, especially if that portion does not include individuals knowledgeable about the law, hackers will find it very easy to outmaneuver lawyers. It is becoming more imperative every day that people educate themselves about coding. Even if you don’t think you’ll be using your new coding skills in your day to day life, the logical reasoning and problem solving that coding requires can be applied to many situations.
Thankfully, one can learn to code at any age, and there are lots of resources available online. Coursera provides free online classes taught by computer science professors at well-known universities around the country such as Rice University and Stanford University. If “going back to school” isn’t your thing, Khan Academy features videos on a multitude of subjects including coding. Pamela Fox, one of the coding instructors for Khan Academy, describes the videos she creates as “five minutes that will work for pretty much everybody”. Codecademy, another great resource, lets you choose how you want to learn coding, whether that be through concentrating on projects or taking a course. Steve Schwartz, who praises Codecademy for allowing anyone to start with the very basics of computer science, also draws parallels between the logical reasoning required for the LSAT and for coding. Even if you’re years away from practicing law, learning to code can still be extremely useful.
I’ve highlighted just a few options for starting to learn code, but there are hundreds of resources online, with focuses ranging from women in coding to underrepresented groups in STEM. To see some great options, check out Free Coding Courses under the Courses tab.
Articles via The Center for Innovative Justice and Technology, August 24, 2015; The Atlantic, March 23, 2012; Huffington Post, August 25, 2015; Business Insider, November 5, 2014; and LSAT Blog, December 19, 2013