Lawyers Who Code: Andrew Darnton – Profile

Legal Geek is compiling a ‘hack-book’ of lawyers and legaltechies who code. If you code, or are learning to code, we would love to include you in our ‘hack-book’. Drop us a line via [email protected] [yes it is .co].

Andrew Darnton is a former commercial real estate lawyer, who now works at legal engineering business SYKE as a Consultant Automation and CLM Specialist. He helps law firms and businesses to procure and implement legal technology.

What kick-started your interest in coding? 

“Microsoft Excel started my interest in coding.  There’s something therapeutic about working out formulae and building solutions to help with specific problems. This ultimately took me on an exciting journey of discovery to seek out an ever evolving range of legal technology solutions.  It’s an exciting time to be a legal engineer.”

What transferable skills exist between the law and coding?

“Some of the skills needed to be a good lawyer (attention to detail, taking a logical approach, patience, empathy) are transferrable to document automation.  It’s like extreme legal drafting and requires you to break things down into the tiniest details without losing sight of the ultimate user experience.  The product should be easy to use, even if what’s going on behind the scenes is complicated.”

Why should lawyers learn to code?

“If you are a frustrated lawyer or self-confessed geek who finds a beautifully engineered spreadsheet mildly exciting, then give coding a go.  It’ll enhance your drafting skills and force you to think about customer experience.  It may even lead to your career taking a different direction, and, being adaptable in these changing times for the profession is no bad thing.”