OpenLaw Dev Update July 30: Making Choices Happen

This Wednesday is Swiss National Day, celebrated with fireworks and paper lanterns. Swiss National Day is based on the Federal Charter of 1291, in which three of Switzerland’s central cantons, (akin to states in the U.S.) located between Lake Lucerne and the Alps, swore allegiance to each other. Now with 26 cantons, Switzerland remains a state with remarkably decentralized power. We’ll be celebrating along with our Swiss co-founder David from our various locations all over the world.

Making Choices: We’ve made a new choice type that allows users to pick from a list of options for variables. This way, instead of typing in a name or job or title each time a user wants to use a template, they can create their own drop down menu to choose from. Less typing means fewer errors, we anticipate. Here’s a quick video demo on how it works from our senior engineer, Craig:

Still Not Stopping (But Could): Testing continued this week on the function that allows contracts to be stopped and a demo of the feature is planned for the near future. This is a big significant upgrade, and the team is polishing up the UI before release into the wild.

Immigration: The team is working on integrating our markup language with the visa/green card information in order to help those going through the often confounding process of coming into the country legally. This week saw the addition of conditionals, which will make the work more user-friendly when it’s released.

Building Through Conversion: Central to OpenLaw’s mission is to have a huge repository of high-quality legal agreements available for free to users who might not otherwise have resources or access to legal services. That’s why the work of converting existing agreements from online databases into templates where the names, dates, addresses, signatures, etc. have been changed into blank variables is so important. This week, we integrated a new API that will help our Review Tool extract more information from agreements, thus making the number of agreements we can scrape and add to our library larger.

API: Testing is underway on our Action API, which will allow users to plug into the guts of OpenLaw and hopefully build some cool applications out of them. There’s still more road in front of us on the API, with choices to be made on architecture and in the back end but it’s coming along.

Licensing: Work on the licensing agreement continues as we check compatibility with the new ERC-888 protocol that allows for specifically security tokens. One of the areas this could be helpful is for artists, who would have the ability to license rights to their otherwise digital work on-chain.

Analytics: With the addition of our new product manager, Anne, has come some new ideas and the bandwidth to act on them, to make the OpenLaw experience better and more intuitive. We’re thinking about types of usage on the site could be improved by digging down into how it’s used and where it can be improved.

UI: In more good news for our growing number of interested users, we’re building a new user interface for much of the site. This week we focused on building more complex menu interactions. The new site, still behind the curtain, looks fresh and modern.

Live Explainer 🔈

We’re excited to announce that on Thursday, August 2nd, we’ll be hosting a live demonstration of the OpenLaw protocol, hosted by co-founder Aaron Wright and ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin.

This will be a unique opportunity to learn more about one of the most significant applications the blockchain has to offer: creating and executing legal contracts that can be paid through and memorialized on the blockchain. This demo is meant for everyone interested in the space: legal professionals eager to innovate within their firm, blockchain and smart contract enthusiasts, and non-legal professionals interested in hearing about blockchain integration into traditional industries.

We’ll be streaming live on the ConsenSys Facebook page on August 2nd at 3pm ET/12pm PT.

RSVP HERE. Hope to see you there!

New Hire: Akanksha Vyas

We’re excited to announce that Ankanksha Vyas has joined the team as a full-stack engineer. Akanksha studied computer science and liberal arts at Clarkson University in New York, where she also earned a Master’s degree in Computer Science with a research focus on formal verification of probabilistic algorithms.

Most recently, Akanksha co-founded a company called Fited, which makes 3D-printed custom-fit medical braces and prosthetics. She led the engineering and design initiatives at Fited, focusing on designing and building the software and the design and testing of a Scoliosis brace.

Akanksha live in Mumbai, in India. In her free time she works at a bookshop at a theatre (Prithvi Theatre), where she curates and sell books, and manages a blog for poetry in the Hindustani language. She also like to dance Lindy Hop (swing dancing).


We are excited and honored by the community that’s grown up around OpenLaw, people who see what we’re building and find it exciting enough to hop onto video chats and post in our community Slack (which you’re invited to, join here.) This week’s shoutout goes out to Mike Barker, an OpenLawyer from down under, thinking of how to bring OpenLaw to students at Monash University in Melbourne. We see you, Mike!

Want to join this team?

The OpenLaw continues to grow. Currently, we’re looking for a:

As always, if you email us, we will answer (

Join us on our mission!

— The OpenLaw Team