My presentation on why more hackers should go to law school, delivered at HOPE Number Nine on Sunday, July 15, 2012. Slides and blog post at http://blog.ussjoin.com/2012/07/hack-the-law.html .
Recent bills such as ACTA, COICA, and SOPA in legislatures worldwide demonstrate that there exists a fundamental disconnect between hackers and politicians. Worse, the people charged with dealing with law on the ground, the lawyers, rarely have any significant technical background obtained within the last few decades. This must change. It’s all well and good to write your congressperson or donate to the EFF, but it’s not enough; we need hackers to go to law school. Lawyers - whether they work as attorneys, or bring their knowledge of the law back to other fields - are uniquely situated to effect direct change on politics, social issues, and the law on the ground (where they arrest poor hackers) and, unlike many fields, it’s not enough to be self-taught. This presentation will focus on the utility of the hacking ethos within the law, as well as the “law school experience,” technical bits about actually getting in, and how to keep yourself from going nuts while spending three years surrounded by those who can’t tell their megabytes from their overbites (and are terrified by Wireshark, let alone the more subtle tools in existence). Expect stories, humorous anecdotes, and terrifying lapses in judgment.