Guide

Learn How to Build Legal Products: Law School Class

Learn the practical skills required to succeed in an evolving legal marketplace.

Course Description

We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. Roy Amara

Learn how to think about the impact of software on the legal industry by building your own legal products. No technical experience is required to complete this 3 day project-based course. Projects range from a simple online form that collects intake data to a public-facing document assembler that qualifies leads for legal services.


Free for Students

All projects are built and tested for free on Community.lawyer's "no code" app builder. There is one caveat: sharing projects requires deploying them to the internet and this may require a Standard Community.lawyer subscription (starting at $35/month). However, affiliate law schools may provide students and faculty with a free Standard subscription for 6 months. Contact us to become an affiliated law school.

Live Presentation

Are you a law school? We can do a remote presentation for your class covering:

  • A brief history of software development since 2001, from Waterfall to "no code."

  • An introduction to Community.lawyer: why we made a "no code" app builder to allow lawyers to create software products.

  • A walkthrough of Part 1 of the tutorial.

Course Guide

This guide provides materials for 3 days worth of classes.

Day 1: Hello, Client!

The purpose of Day 1 is to get an introduction to the world of software development by jumping straight in.

Most web developers get their introduction to coding by writing a simple function that prints 'Hello, world!' to a webpage. For us, as legal app developers, we're going to begin by writing a simple app. Our app will collect the end-user's name then repeat that name back to them.

Reading:

Assignment:

  • Build and launch a 'Hello Client' app
  • Identify a document that you believe would be useful to automate.

Day 2: Coding logic and automating documents

Learn how to think like a programmer by composing logical expressions for a legal context. Then, apply those skills by automating documents with online forms.

Reading:

Assignment:

  • Build an online form that automates the document identified at Day 1
  • (Optional) Activate your app to a public community then share it on the #law-schools channel of the Community.lawyer Slack.

Day 3: Marketing Your App

Congratulations! 🎉 You have successfully completed all the technical challenges of building a legal product. These are important skills and they will open many doors for you. However, learning these skills just marks the beginning and, to be frank, these skills are not the most difficult part of building successful Legal Products.

The most difficult part of building Legal Products is (a) figuring out what to build; and then (b) after you build it (which will be a breeze for you!), figuring out how to market it (meaning, how will people find your app? How will you sustain your app's ongoing development?).

In this final chapter, you'll learn about two sets of features that can help you with the challenge of marketing your app. Specifically, you will learn how to brand your app and how, on a technical level, you can generate revenue.

Reading:

Thomas Officer

Thomas Officer is a cofounder and Design Lead @ Community.lawyer.

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