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Code Curious? Five Resources for Lawyers to Learn Coding

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

The frenzy over computer coding might be overblown. It may not be the "literacy of the 21st century," nor should everyone "program or be programmed." Still, it truly is a valuable skill to learn, especially if you've ever been code curious, you are waiting for bar results, or if you are desperately unemployed.

It is true that companies are bought and sold for millions of dollars, just to get the programmers that work for the company, not for the product itself. Competition for coding talent is at an all-time high, and as a law grad or lawyer, your analytical mind might be suited to the problem solving and logic required to write effective code.

Maybe this opens a new career path. Maybe you just want to be able to upgrade your firm website yourself. Maybe you found a startup that disrupts the legal industry. Here are a few resources to help you get started:


Free interactive programming lessons. What more is there to say? This might be the most popular resource online, and its students include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Codecademy teaches its students JavaScript, HTML/CSS, PHP, Python, Ruby, and APIs through interactive lessons, and visitors to the site can either take lessons, or create them.


This is quite the creative alternative. Code/Racer is an educational video game, not unlike those touch-typing games of yore. You code, at a high rate of speed, in order to make your car go faster and to qualify for races. The site has over 650 instructional videos, and success is metered in badges.

HTML5 Rocks

A site that, as the name suggests, focuses on HTML5, a language that is the future standard of the web. Lessons here are provided by contributors that work for Google, Adobe, and an assortment of small startups, and the site itself is sponsored by Google.

Learn Code the Hard Way

The hardest route is often the best route. When we've polled others on the best places to learn code, "Learn Python the Hard Way," a series of PDF and video lessons, is often recommended. Though it is no longer free, $29 isn't a bad price, and the site's offerings seem to have expanded from Python to an assortment of languages.

Coursera, MIT OpenCourseWare, and Udacity

"Take the world's best courses, online, for free," promises Coursera. MIT OpenCourseWare is a similar concept, providing free access to an MIT education without the MIT cost (or course credit). Udacity is a third option, which has dabbled in offering paid, for-credit courses, as well as free options.

Maybe programming is a future necessity, and maybe the coding craze has gone a wee bit overboard. Nonetheless, if you've ever been curious about computer coding, with all of the excellent free resources out there, it has never been a better time to give it a shot.

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