Description of Legal Bricolage

A friend of mine who has been a courts reporter for a daily newspaper and is now freelancing about, among other things, digital rights issues, sent me the following:

I think [litigating internet issues is] along the
lines of playing cowboy, but instead of cattle, you're roping the abyss. When
I was writing about the courts, so much of it dealt with established criminal
statutes that it was hard to find something unique -- it usually involved a
tiny point of federal sentencing guidelines. Here, it's completely under
construction -- the laws are still being written and the new ones are still
being tested.

Good luck building the barn...

Of course, that made my day, but I am not sure we are so unique either in the legal profession or in the world. I wrote back:

You made my day. Thanks, never been called a cowboy before. But, this is true of every type of law -- I think. If you look closely enough, there are always issues that have never been heard, or facts that laws have never been applied to, or the need to come up with a creative application of some old legal doctrine or new statute. As with journalism, whatever story you are currently working on has never been told the way you are about to tell it (and you get to be learning along the way). Probably why I love my job and why freelancing is such a kick.

And, why I think bricolage is something that we all do and that we all could do more of.

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