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Law firms and students unite to steer the profession

Law firms and students unite to steer the profession


Thirteen law firms have collaborated with students from around the country at the 2017 Disrupting Law hackathon.

Students and legal practitioners came together at Queensland University of Technology on the first weekend of August to develop innovative solutions to real-world issues facing the legal profession.

The Disrupting Law hackathon was run by innovation-focused not-for-profit The Legal Forecast and entrepreneurship-focused student society QUT Starters. 

Thirteen law firms took part in the event, representing a mix of top-tier, mid-tier and NewLaw firms.

They were Herbert Smith Freehills, King & Wood Mallesons, McCullough Robertson, Allens, DLA Piper, Clayton Utz, Piper Alderman, Hall & Wilcox, MinterEllison, Jones Day, ClarkeKann, Helix Legal and Law Squared.

Each firm put forward a team of legal and non-legal staff, who partnered with students from a range of faculties and universities around the country to develop solutions over a fast-paced three-day competition.

The teams pitched their ideas on 6 August, addressing issues including copyright, CPD, mental health, client relationship management and electronic signatures.

The winning team, partnered by Law Squared, developed a platform called Rent Aware to facilitate better landlord-tenant relationships using AI and natural language processing. The team took home the Legal Innovation Award trophy and a cash prize.

The expert judging panel included Terri Mottershead, director of the Centre for Legal Innovation at the College of Law; Steven Wilson, chief operating officer of the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur; Julian Uebergang, managing director of Neota Logic; and Alison Laird, principal of Laird Innovations and innovation manager, Asia-Pacific, at Pinsent Masons.

The Legal Forecast said it expects four to five teams to take their ideas to market, and is confident that most teams could based on the quality and originality of the pitches.

Pictured: The 2017 Disrupting Law hackathon

Image source: The Legal Forecast

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