Melbourne students design legal tech solutions in world-class program
Law students at a Melbourne-based university have created legal technology solutions to industry problems, which they said will help them succeed in the profession.
As part of the global Law Without Walls (LWOW) program, Swinburne University’s law students Georgie Filip and Alex Clark built on skills and critical knowledge that young and aspiring lawyers need for practical application of innovation and technology in law.
The program attracts more than 35 law schools around the world that work together to co-create business cases and solutions – including designing a prototype – for law-related social justice problems put forward by a law firm or legal company.
“I was most interested in connecting with law students from other countries,” said Ms Filip. “I got a greater understanding of law students internationally, the problems that we have in common, as well as the differences in our experiences. It was surprising to me how different each country’s legal system and law [school are] operated.”
Ms Filip’s team was tasked with creating a solution to the barriers small firms face in taking on pro bono work, such as time constraints and limited resources. They created “Untitled Pro Bono”, a platform for small firms that sources pro bono matters, provides time estimates and gives access to a global support network.
“From this experience, I learnt that although [the] pro bono industry has a lot to offer, it is a largely underutilised asset that many firms could still use to expand their paying client opportunities and networks,” explained Ms Filip of her training.
Mr Clark’s team – which was comprised of members from Spain, Germany, Pakistan and Switzerland – worked on how law-related non-profits can track and share their use of donated funds to show the tangible impacts donors are having. His team developed a plug-in for websites of non-profits that allow donors to have a say on allocation.
“I was interested in further pursuing legal technologies after completing this unit and the virtual program [helped take] a different approach in analysing the audience and potential market for an innovative solution,” Mr Clark said.
The experience helped them both gain a deeper understanding of the law marketplace across the globe and how innovation is impacting work, expectations and careers of legal professionals. Ms Filip said it is how they can get a “foot in the door”.