#LawReformation at Annexium

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2013, by Noric Dilanchian

AnnexiumWelcome to Annexium, where members annex their know-how and resources and maintain the social life of contract-related legal documents and information.[1] Paramount is professional education of the members, by the members, for the members (hat tip to Abraham Lincoln[2]). 

The word annex can be used as a verb or as a noun. Here’s the definition from the Australia Macquarie Dictionary’s definition:

/ˈænɛks, əˈnɛks/ verb, /ˈænɛks/ noun –verb (t)

1. to attach, join, or add, especially to something larger or more important; unite; append; subjoin.

2. to take possession of, take to one's own use permanently.

3. Colloquial to take without permission; appropriate. –noun

4. something annexed or added, especially a supplement to a document: an annex to a treaty.

5. an annexe.

In the interaction between business and law there are several developments relevant to Annexium’s mission of delivering information and resources for people who commission, prepare, negotiate and draft business contracts. Among the developments:

  • We are emerging from an era in which legal theory ascended above practical skills for the application of law. The direction and demand is clear, eg in the United States with debate propelled by the Carnegie Report of 2007 – “Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law”
  • In recent decades society has certainly transitioned as regards how most law work is done, sole practitioners and solitary authorship are a declining part of the pie chart.
  • Like other institutions, professions operate in professional silos even after the greater good for the greater number could be achieved by changing infrastructures. Each discipline needs to do more to apply interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary know-how.

These are big issues and ongoing developments best left for proper review in future blog posts.

They are briefly mentioned here because they illustrate that when it comes to change a complex interaction shapes developments.

There will be substantive change in how contract drafters and their clients and peers work, when that change will be here fully is an unknown. This recalls the novelist William Gibson who said: “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.

In Annexium the hashtag #LawReformation is applied to areas of anticipated change in the interaction between business and law as regards contracts and contract-related transactions.

Reformation is not a synonym for law reform or revolution[3]. Change is not “law reform” and revolutions vary in their duration, they do not always involve abrupt change.

Information technology has been with lawyers and law firms now for over three decades. In that time much has changed in both business and law, but only some of it due to IT. A lot has not changed.

In the next few blog post we’ll explore the Annexium principle of format follows content.


[1] Inspired by the 1996 FirstMonday article The Social Life of Documents http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/466/387 and 2000 book, The Social Life of Information - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Life_of_Information. See also http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~duguid/SLOFI/About_the_book.htm. See also book review commentary at: http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~duguid/SLOFI/About_the_book.htm

[2] Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address called for "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

[3] For a critique of the notion that information technology created a ”revolution” in legal practice see Christine Vanda Burns, Online Legal Services – A Revolution that Failed?, PhD thesis, October 2007.


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