James Grimmelman is a better writer than I am. I already knew this, but in this commentary on Biella Coleman’s (excellent) Coding Freedom, he captures something I have struggled to express for years in two crisp, clean sentences:
Hacker legal education, with its roots in programming, is strong on formal precision and textual exegesis. But it is notably light on legal realism: coping with the open texture of the law and sorting persuasive from ineffective arguments.
This distinction is worth keeping in mind, for both sides of the professional/amateur legal discussion, to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of their training and experience.
(Note that James says this, and I quote it, with all due love and respect, since we were both programmers before we were lawyers.)