The legal world is easily impressed by formalism.
For example, suppose a judge is called upon to decide what constitutes negligence, and says:
"To determine whether an act is negligent, we must balance the costs to the defendant of ensuring that no harm comes about against the probability of harm occurring and the magnitude of the possible harm."
I would say that's a sensible judge. So would the legal community.
But if the judge used symbols to represent the concepts in that statement, and specified that we take the product of the probability of the harm occurring and the magnitude of the possible harm, the reaction would be totally different.
I would still say that's a sensible judge. The legal world, however, would say: "OH MY GOD! WE CAN USE SYMBOLS TO REPRESENT A COMMON SENSE CONCEPT! THIS GUY IS THE MOST BRILLIANT JURISPRUDE IN THE WORLD! LET'S NAME A BODY PART AFTER HIM! LET'S FOUND AN INFLUENTIAL SUBFIELD OF LAW ON THE BASIS OF THIS FORMULA, WHICH WILL USE A CLOAK OF FORMALITY TO DISGUISE THE FACT THAT IT BEARS ONLY A PARTIAL AND TENUOUS RELATIONSHIP TO REALITY!"
The body part I'm referring is, of course, the hand; the formula is B < PL; and the pseudodiscipline is Law and Economix. The lesson: If you want to really impress legal professionals, dress up an ordinary insight in formal clothing.
EDIT (April 5): ANNOUNCING the Law Formalization Project; wherein from time to time I suggest ways to formalize legal ideas.