Are Lawyers Important on the Web?

PCWorld provides a list of the 50 most important people on the web. Topping the list, unsurprisingly, are Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. Other usual suspects include Steve Jobs, Bram Cohen, Jimmy Wales, Bruce Schneier, and Craig Newmark.

I was disappointed that there wasn’t a single practicing attorney on the entire list. The closest they got is Larry Lessig, who is admittedly a lawyer of sorts, but at least in my mind more of an academic. A couple of others appear to be former lawyers.

I’d like to think we lawyers can make enough of a positive difference to be “important.” The optimistic view might be that practicing attorneys need to keep a lower profile on the sorts of issues that attract PCWorld and the like and are thus unlikely to be recognized publicly. The pessimistic view is that the technologists and business people just matter a lot more.


  1. Craig Newmark Mar 15

    Well, I look a lot like a lawyer.


  2. Jason Mar 15

    First, ‘academic lawyers’ are lawyers. Such a statement from a fellow alumnus!

    Second, I think the lawyers do make a difference but part of the problem in getting recognized is the “libertarian hacker” ethic that Steve hates and the Cory-Doctorow-Type (CDT) hanging around and pretending to be a lawyer.

    Third, who writes this list? Nick Denton is on the damn thing.

Leave a Reply

(Markdown Syntax Permitted)