Law is how we say things should be given how they are; law is the projection of a vision of the future on the present.
Law determines what businesses we can structure, what enforceable relationships those businesses can have, what the duties and obligations of each are to each other. Law is not the only way of determining these things; the law lord competes with the lords of culture, media, religion, each influencing the others in a struggle over human action.
Law is important because that’s the field of play; law is about determining human action, guiding it, enabling it, shaping it for the better, for the right, for the just. Law is civilized violence, pain administered in a velvet glove; in the end, people obey law because of the pain the legal system imposes on them if they don’t. That’s the weapon and the responsibility.
It’s crucially important that law be done well. Lawyers are called on to administer the law, to shape it, to apply it, to criticize and cauterize, to explain its glories, minister to its subjects, to implement it. When lawyers fail, when they lose sight of law’s role, of the legal calling, we see injustice and lawlessness; lawyers’ failings too often obscure the fundamental good of the law; and we see far too much of this today.
Our job at Disco — the reason you should work here if you’re a world-class person who wants to make a difference, who’s deciding between this or Google or SpaceX or Goldman or government — is to enable lawyers ultimately to do law better, to better guide human action. If you’re for the basic promise of law — of a force-backed, reasoned vision of the future — and you want to work to make that promise good through the leverage of technology, then this is the place for you.
It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day details of a particular product, like Disco, or the specifics of competition in the ediscovery industry. But we shouldn’t lose sight of what all that is a stepping stone to, of why we’re doing this and not self-driving cars or populating Mars or getting filthy rich on Wall Street.
That’s the big picture: doing law right.