About The Site

A Short History of The Chronicles of a Capitalist Lawyer

It all began in August 2006 when I was struck by a crazy idea to create a website that specifically deals with various up-to-date legal issues. I asked two of my best friends  (one of them is my wife now) to work as my co-authors and named this site "The Journal of Ali, Azhar & Sastrawijaya." But alas, time passed away and we published nothing. It seems that we were too busy to write anything and I must face the reality that my project of having a great blog with my dream team has just faded away.

This site was left untouched for almost two years until February 2008, the time when I got another crazy idea to reestablish it. Between August 2006 and February 2008, I gained valuable experience from my work as a corporate lawyer and I decided that my site should specialize in the field of business law with some economic and commercial insights. Thus, the first version of "The Chronicles of a Capitalist Lawyer" was born.

Unfortunately, I was only able to produce two articles in the first two weeks, and after that came another long stagnant period. Ironically, the main problem was not caused by lack of ideas, it was the excessive amount of ideas in my head combined with my sense of perfectionism that prevent me from writing (or in a better term, finalizing) any new articles. Every time I try to write my ideas, another ideas struck me. Many drafts were created, but none finalized. To add the problem, I spent most of the time only to revise my first and second articles, since I believed that those articles were not good enough to be published. Soon, it was too much for me to bear and so, I stop blogging again. At that time, I even started to think that the whole idea of making this blog is stupid and should not be considered in the first place.

But in August 2009, more than a year after my last attempt, I returned to the scene once again (
the official birth date of this site is 3 August 2009). I thought to myself, if I want to make something big in my life, at least start with the little ones first. Ideas will not stay forever in your mind. If you don't make a permanent record of them, you will eventually forget them and what could be worse than having no recollection of your own ideas when you are in the business of selling ideas? 

So, I revise the site a bit, it does not only focus on business law, but anything related to law, business and economics. I realize that while I am interested with business and corporate law in my field of work, my academic interests are even wider. Rather than limiting myself with one subject, why not allowing myself to write in any subject that I am interested with? So there you have it, a site that deals with my random thoughts on law, politics and economics.   

Background of The Site
 

1. The Professional Development Part

If I only learn one thing during my work, that must be the fact that knowledge of the law itself is not enough to survive the competition in legal business. And believe me, the case is stronger for corporate lawyers who definitely need to understand the commercial aspects related to their work.

Why commercial aspects matter for corporate lawyer? Commercial knowledge is important because it is one of the basic foundations of corporate lawyers in building their professional practices. Without sufficient commercial knowledge, corporate lawyers will not be able to "translate" their clients needs to legal terms and therefore, they will fail to satisfy those needs.

Until today, I have not found any site established by an Indonesian lawyer which focuses on business law issues with additional insights on the related commercial aspects. Thus, this becomes my first reason for establishing this site.

In addition, the establishment of this site is also a part of my professional development plan as a lawyer. You could say that I'm the only lawyer in my office who puts blogging as a development plan, and I have two reasons for making such plan: (i) a blogging site is a very good media for publishing your ideas, its free and can be easily accessed by many people; and (ii) creating a site with high quality contents is definitely good for building your profile in the market which of course is also good for the business.


2. The Academic Part  

Apart from professional development, I am also concerned with the development of law and how other social sciences can help, particularly from the point of view of economics. I started my interest with Law and Economics movement when I did my personal research on Islamic law and Islamic legal theories back in 2001 (which is still ongoing until today as a part of my dissertation research at the University of Chicago Law School). 

At that time, I found a very interesting Islamic legal theory, maslahah mursalah or istislah, which later on became my focus of research during my undergraduate days (I won a national law paper competition and my Faculty of Law's best outstanding student competition by applying this theory into modern legal issues). The theory basically states that whenever there are uncertainties in the Islamic law interpretation, a jurist must consider the overall utility of the society in making a law or public policy, and it further provides guidance on how we can achieve the satisfaction of such public interest.

For me, this is a great insight, especially since it was developed in the 9th century. Islamic legal theorists might be the first jurists who established the basic concept of law and economics. Unfortunately, in line with the fate of other Islamic legal theories, the istislah theory is currently underdeveloped compared to the modern Law and Economics. 

But thanks to that, I fell in love with Law and Economics which further encouraged me to take a formal study of Law and Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, possibly the best place to learn this subject that you can find in the world (after all, it is the law school that firstly established the movement in the United States and made it to be accepted by many legal scholars).

Having said that, my plan is to use this site to develop short ideas on how Law and Economics can be applied to Indonesian legal issues as a basis of further academic research in the future (mine or anyone else who is also interested) in order to improve the overall quality of our legal system and laws. Hopefully I can spread the ideas of Law and Economics to as many audiences as possible, and cause them to rethink about their understanding of the law. It should be fun.                  

Details of The Site

First of all, this is not a legal-how-to site. I am not interested to provide legal advices in this site because: (i) I've already made a disclaimer that no articles within this site can be considered as legal advices; (ii) I don't want to compete with my firm by providing free legal advices while most of my works in the firm are chargeable to my clients; and (iii) legal service is a serious business with lots of liabilities, and I definitely don't want to take any additional risks for myself by offering legal advices bluntly in the internet without proper review mechanism and risk management.

Second, as I said before, although law is the main theme of this site, I believe that other social sciences, especially economics, are essential in understanding the law. Therefore, I will incorporate those themes in my writings and analysis. Those who expect to see a rigid discussion about law here might be disappointed. For lawyers and other legal geeks out there, I hope you can deal with that.

Third, this site is dedicated for common readers. I will do my best to ensure that you can easily understand all of my articles, even if you do not have any legal background. Of course, since I'm using a "best effort" basis, don't sue me if you have any problem in understanding my articles, though I doubt you will have such problem.

Fourth, I am a supporter of capitalism and free market and you can expect to see more of that in my articles. Despite the 2008 global market crisis and the overwhelming news on the dead of capitalism, I still believe that capitalism is the best economic system for creating opportunities and prosperity for the people. 

After all, this kind of crisis has occurred several times in the past, many people have also predicted the end of capitalism in the past, and yet capitalism still triumphs until today  So I'm not worry at all about the future of capitalism. This might be a politically incorrect choice (at least for a couple of years), but I'll take that risk and I hope you will also respect my choices. 

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