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Legal ‘Hackathon’ coming to Glasgow - a first for access to justice in Scotland

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With the connection between law and technology becoming stronger than ever, we’re now seeing the first legal ‘hackathon’ coming to Scotland. Organised by Legal Hackers Scotland and The Law Society of Scotland, and as publicised on the Law Society’s website here, the 48 hour event, running this weekend (Friday 17th to Sunday  19th June), will be a pop-up innovation lab for lawyers, designers, technologists and others to collaborate and design sustainable and scalable solutions that alleviate pressing access to justice issues.

The event is free to participate in, although places are limited. To register and for a great deal of info on how the event will work click here or see the Law Society’s Hackathon FAQs here

Sponsored by MacRoberts, Uber, Knowledge Transfer Network and Hack Partners, this hackathon is part of a growing trend in the legal sector. More people, whether part of the legal profession or from other sectors, are realising that there’s a massive amount of untapped potential in the use of advances in technology to solve modern legal problems and to enable the delivery of a better level of legal service.

Stuart Naismith, convener of the Law Society of Scotland Access to Justice Committee, said:

“We’re delighted at the enthusiastic response we have had so far to the hackathon. Like many public services, the justice system has seen significant financial constraint in recent years. With cuts to legal aid, court closures and a range of other factors, access to justice is becoming more challenging for people across Scotland, particularly in rural areas.

"We think that there is great potential in using technology to help address this and introduce new digital products which would improve access to justice for people across the country.”

Arlene McDaid, Founder of Legal Hackers Scotland said: “The hackathon provides a unique opportunity for lawyers to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals and crowdsource innovative solutions to pressing access to justice issues. To participate all you need is enthusiasm, ideas and an open mind!”

Participants are invited to design a product to address challenges around access to justice in areas including:

  • Legal information for young people - designing new ways for young people to access legal information relevant to them.
  • Legal processes – using technology to help people navigate legal processes and documents, such as small claims actions

David Flint, Senior Partner and Head of IPTC Group at MacRoberts, said:

“We’re thrilled to be involved in this project. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the legal profession to work with IT experts in creating new apps and other online solutions which will help deliver legal advice and services, particularly for groups that can be harder to reach.”

Teams will pitch their projects to an expert judging panel on Sunday 19 June. The winners will receive £2,000 and there are runners up prizes of £1,000 and tickets for HackTrain 3.0

Again, to register (for free), click here.

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