What we're about

We’re a global movement of lawyers, policymakers, technologists, and academics who explore and develop creative solutions to some of the most pressing issues at the intersection of law and technology. Through regular local meetups, hackathons, and workshops, Legal Hackers spot issues and opportunities where technology can improve and inform the practice of law and where law, legal practice, and policy can adapt to rapidly changing technology.

There are currently over 60 Legal Hackers chapters around the world, with over 8,000 Legal Hackers, across 5 continents - and if you're in the SF Bay Area, this chapter is yours!

Or rather, we'd like you to make it yours: The SF Bay Area is a globally unique hub of technologists, tech-policy advocates, and tech-forward lawyers, so please get involved, propose themes, events, talks, discussions, projects — as well as issues around blockchain, we’re considering gathering around privacy, drone law, net neutrality, democracy and propaganda technology, post-nation-state hacking …

For the longest time, we’ve been forced to live our lives under the yoke of legal systems and structures created, sometimes hundreds of years ago, by distant, unaccountable others, to fit the whims and needs of the powerful few. Today, we have the power and agency to shape and create systems and structures to meet the needs of all of us, in more open, transparent, participatory ways.

So if any of the above appeals to you, please join in!

We're a completely volunteer-run movement, so if you know anyone who's keen to participate, here or anywhere else around the world, we can also plug them into another local chapter! And if there's anything you’d like to arrange under this banner, let us know and we'd be delighted to co-organize!

Upcoming events (1)

Ethical Source, Strong Copyleft and Open Software Business Models

Join us online to hear from the practitioners and experts creating a new generation of public software licenses. How can software licenses protect the intentions of software creators? How can we engineer better business models that help software communities thrive? Why have new software licenses stirred up controversies in the open source community? How can multi-license strategies be used effectively? We will answer these questions and more as we talk about Ethical Source, Noncommercial, Strong Copyleft, Nonviolent and Digital Autonomy software licenses with the people at the forefront of creating and using them. More about our panelists: CORALINE ADA EHMKE is an international speaker, writer, and developer with over 25 years of experience. Coraline has addressed the United Nations on human rights and the tech industry, created the Hippocratic License, and founded the Ethical Source Movement. Coraline is the creator of the Contributor Covenant, the most popular open source code of conduct in the world with over 40,000 adoptions. She was recognized for her work in diversity in open source with a Ruby Hero award in 2016. Find her on Twitter at @CoralineAda or on the web at https://where.coraline.codes. HEATHER MEEKER is an attorney in private practice whose specializes in drafting and negotiating intellectual property transactions for software and other technology clients. She is a partner at O’Melveny & Myers, and a founding portfolio partner at Open Source Software Capital, a VC fund that does early stage investments in commercial open source software development. She served as an adjunct professor at Hastings College of the Law, and at the UC Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Meeker is the author of Open Source for Business, now in its Third Edition, and is an internationally renowned expert on open source licensing law. She is a member of the American Law Institute and has served as an advisor on the projects for the Principles of the Law (Software Contracts) and the Restatement of Copyright Law. Ms. Meeker has degrees with honors from Yale College and U.C. Berkeley School of Law. She clerked for United States Circuit Judge John Porfilio Moore of the Tenth Circuit. KYLE MITCHELL is founder of LicenseZero.com and the PolyFormProject.org which provide standardized software licenses in plain language including Prosperity, Parity, noncommercial, noncompete, trial and many others. Kyle is an attorney and software developer. He writes extensively about software licenses at kemitchell.com NOAH THORP is the founder of CoMakery, a platform for people to gather a tribe and work on projects together. The CoMakery Server code was recently published under a noncomercial and nonviolent public software license. Noah has lead work on many legal-technical systems including private market exchanges, crowdfunding, and security token systems with SharesPost, Republic (Note Token, PROPS) and Nasdaq Private Market. He co-founded a holacratically organized venture studio in 2014 where he lead DAO, decentralized reputation and security token projects for fortune 100 companies and blockchain startups. Noah continues to innovate passionately on the future of organizations through CoMakery Labs. Noah is a co-organizer of the SF Legal Hackers group. LUIS VILLA is co-founder of Tidelift - a new way to support and use open source software. He is a lawyer, executive, and (former) software developer, specializing in open source licensing, product counseling, technology transactions, and community strategy. Before Tidelift he worked with some of the most high-profile technology projects in the world including as Deputy General Counsel of Wikimedia Foundation, leading the revision of the Mozilla Public License, volunteering on the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative and as an invited expert at the World Wide Wide Web Consortium. Photo of the Whanganui New Zealand river with legal personhood; Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licensed by Keith Miller.

Photos (31)