The blog Rands in Repose just published a Nerd Handbook, ostensibly aimed at helping someone attached to a nerd understand that nerd. Here the nerd is understood in terms of involvement with a computer.
You could, of course, understand the handbook as applying to lawyers or legal librarians, it seems to me. The fit isn't perfect (observation 5 doesn't carry over for lawyers in my experience), but it's enough to give one pause.
Herewith the topic heads from the handbook, with substitutions suggested where appropriate, and a few quotes under the first heading to give you the flavour:
- Understand your nerd’s relation to [the computer] [the law] [the library].
…a nerd is defined by [his computer] [the law] [the library], and you need to understand why.
First, a majority of the folks on the planet either have no idea how [a computer] [the law] [a library] works or they look at it and think “it’s magic”. Nerds know how [a computer] [the law] [a library] works…
The nerd has based his career, maybe his life, on [the computer] [the law] [libraries], and as we’ll see, this intimate relationship has altered his view of the world.
- Your nerd has control issues.
- Your nerd has built himself [a cave] [an office] [a cave].
- Your nerd loves [toys and puzzles] [Black Berrys and issues] [catalogs and requests].
- Nerds are fucking funny.
- Your nerd has an amazing appetite for information.
- Your nerd has built an annoyingly efficient relevancy engine in his head.
- Your nerd might come off as [not liking] [disdaining] [shushing] people.