Lawyers, Learn to Code With This Free eBook

If you’ve been thinking about learning how to do some coding, or want to learn more about the software that powers the applications you use everyday, then you’ll be interested in this eBook by V. David Zvenyach: “Coding for Lawyers.” Zvenyach is the General Counsel to the Council of the District of Columbia and considers himself an “accomplished armchair coder.” He also insists that “Lawyers can code. In fact,” he says,

“… if you’re a lawyer, the truth is that it’s easier than you think. I am a lawyer, and a coder. In the course of two years, I have gone from knowing essentially nothing to being a decent coder in several languages.”

Coding for Lawyers is a “work-in-progress” currently offering programming guidance in the following areas:

  • Regular Expressions
  • Markdown and HTML
  • Data Types
  • Using Arrays
  • Conditional Logic
  • DRY [Don’t Repeat Yourself] and Functions

The coding examples Zvenyach uses are oriented around law practice and presented in a legal context. For example, when talking about ifthen statements in conditional logic he asks you to think of it in terms of the rules of evidence:

“Typically, the rules of evidence follow a specific pattern: if the evidence you present to a judge meets the test established by the rules of evidence in your jurisdiction then the judge shall allow it into evidence. In programming, if tests work the same way.”

That’s a very nice feature of this book. Zvenyach is a lawyer who’s learned how to code and he’s sharing his knowledge and experience in terms that lawyers are going to appreciate. The other great thing about this eBook is it’s free and available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

To help improve this resource Zvenyach also wants to know what you think:

“Is it worth it? Are any lawyers actually interested? Are the chapters too dense? Too easy? Are there topics that you definitely want covered?”

Send him your feedback at

A great resource to get you started. And as Zvenyach points out: “We need more lawyers who code.”


  1. Cool find. I’m going to have to see if this gels with any of the lawyers or judges helping on our Clicklaw Wikibooks project. MediaWiki markup is a good simple language I’ve always said ( and tried to be convincing about).

  2. Thanks for your comment Nate+Russell. I’m including the link to your Clicklaw Wikibooks project here too.