Hacking legal tech in London

GLH2018The London limb of the Global Legal Hackathon took place in February 2018. On offer was an interrupted weekend but with pizza & beer, a chance to test new ideas, to meet like-minded people, to speak to mentors and to develop some tech that could be useful in the legal sector. The teams came up with excellent proposals on how to develop access to law or to manage law firms.

*Disclosure: I was a judge so my comments are from that perspective. Others will say how they thought the event went, whether the ideas proposed were good and whether the right team won. Oh, and whether the judges did a good job! Have a read here, here, here and here.

One team proposed the use of machine learning to help users to prioritise and process their emails. There was a GDPR toolkit for small-medium sized organisations. Another was a dashboard collating billing info, time, indexing and work location data. And there was a blockchain application to help with conveyancing.

The runner-up was a chatbot intending to use IBM’s natural language processing and sentiment analysis system to help those going through a divorce without legal representation. The winner was from Pinsent Masons who, entirely coincidentally, hosted the event. Theirs was a platform using blockchain to help law firm partners vote on new initiatives and internal project suggestions. They now go on to round 2.

It was a great event and many people gave up their weekend for the “rapid development of solutions to improve the legal industry, world-wide” which was the intention of the organisers. From my perspective, it was interesting to hear what others perceive are the difficulties and how tech can help.

Thankfully, contrary to my earlier post, nobody actually proposed a robot lawyer. Some of the ideas were not that far removed but I’m not out of a job just yet! Still, there are plenty of other teams out there and GLH will likely become an annual event so I’m keeping a watchful eye…


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