This post is part of "2012 Law Via the Internet Conference," a series of 8 posts. You can start at the beginning or see all posts in the series.

Scott Greenfield’s response to Clay Shirky’s Law Via the Internet conference keynote:

The LII’s efforts to make law freely available isn’t at odds with Clay Shirky’s nonsense, but isn’t consistent with it either. Rather, Shirky takes the ball and runs sideways, toward a goal that doesn’t exist. People, meaning non-lawyers, want unfettered access to the law. That’s fine. They want not only access, but the ability to understand it and use it without need to pay for lawyers. That’s not so fine.

I think Scott may have gotten Shirky’s point backwards, perhaps due to my poor summary. Shirky’s point, I think, is that non-lawyers are — en masse — already trying to interpret and understand the law, largely without help from lawyers, and will continue to do so using whatever tools are available. Shirky thinks lawyers ought to pitch in and correct the of bad interpretations that Scott complains about in his post.

(Also, I’m not clear on why Shirky is a charlatan, but Scott is not the first to say so. It’s possible I’m just being dense, but its not obvious to me.)

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