Tech and Math For Lawyers

Jun 18, 2020

My academic writing toolkit/workflow

This one is for academics rather than practitioners, though some of the details are applicable to practitioners as well. I have an unusual and complicated academic writing workflow/toolkit, but one that might be of use to some other people, so I thought I’d share it here. This is a work in progress document; I’ve promised to share my toolkit with a couple people, so, as those people say to me “hey, this makes no sense,” I’ll probably edit to clarify.

Here are the considerations, in rough order of priority, that drive me:

A. I like to …

By Paul Gowder  ·  Jun 18, 2020  ·  word_processing  markdown  office_tech  academic

Jul 10, 2019

Don’t send your clients to prison with the base rate malpractice trap

Here’s a hypo for you. You’re a criminal defense attorney, and you have a client who was arrested at a DUI checkpoint. Your client was subjected to a fast breath-test for alcohol, requiring them to blow into a machine. Unfortunately, the machine reported that your client was intoxicated beyond the statutory limit, and your client was arrested on that basis.1

At the arraignment, the prosecutor comes to you and says the following:

I’m prepared to present expert witness testimony showing that the breath test your client took has a 99% accuracy rate, measured against the most …

By Paul Gowder  ·  Jul 10, 2019  ·  math  probability  malpractice_traps

Jul 09, 2019

Why and how to use markdown instead of (or in addition to) Word

Markdown is a plain text formatting language. It allows you, as the cool kids say, to separate content and the semantic properties of content (i.e., which bits of text are what—which bits are footnotes, which bits are quotes, which bits are headings) from the style of that content (which bits are italic, how much paragraphs are indented by, what font you’re using, etc.).

In other words: you know how whenever you write a document in Word, you get into a nightmarish rabbit hole of things like trying to convince Word when to start and stop numbering a …

By Paul Gowder  ·  Jul 09, 2019  ·  word_processing  markdown  office_tech