Dublin, Ireland – 24, March 2018– One month ago, 16 university students were chosen from over 100 applicants to participate in a 24 hour hackathon to create digital solutions for legal services. Over the past few weeks, these students have been introduced to the Neota Logic platform and given a specific topic for their app. Now they are almost halfway through the design and build process.
Working from the top floor of the headquarters of Irish Law Firm of the Year, it’s hard to think of anywhere else that could inspire a similar sense of boundless opportunity. Each team has found their own corner in which to ideate and conceptualise the projects assigned to them. By tomorrow morning, we will have a suite of 4 freshly-baked expertise-automation apps:
Money Laundering Risk Assessment Tool
Business Entity Advisor for Start-ups in Ireland
Merger Reporting Advisor
White Collar Crime Reporting Advisor
Each student team is led by one of the McCann Fitzgerald family, who has spent the last few weeks getting familiar with the Neota Logic platform and the app-building process. Some of the leaders were heavily involved in the making of McCann Fitzgerald’s GDPR Assessment tool, which has been getting great reviews since its launch in February.
Barry Devereux, the Managing Partner of McCann Fitzgerald spoke to the forward motion of the firm at the launch of the hackathon:
“We are a law firm that sells software products to clients and non-clients.” The enthusiasm of the team here is palpable, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.“We are 9 hours into our LegalAppsHackathon here at McCann Fitzgerald and it’s great to see so many students collaborating to bring together legal solutions business ideas, technology, and design.” Gráinne Bryan, Director of Legal Technology Solutions at the firm, has pledged to run the marathon with the teams; “I am excited for the hours ahead and to see the final output tomorrow morning.”
We see this hackathon as a way for the firm to tap into the innovation and creativity of university students from a variety of disciplines — law, of course, but also business, design, and computer sciences. All of those skill-sets are needed to build truly impactful apps, and to drive the legal industry forward.
Claudia, a first year law student from Trinity College, told us that her friend who is studying digital media could not believe that law students would be able to build functioning apps: “She’s in her first year of digital media, and she still can’t build a full app. The coding is difficult, so she couldn’t believe that someone with no coding background could even attempt to make one.”
There are 15 hours left on the clock, and some of the teams have already started to build their apps in the Neota platform. The pace has been consistent, with just a few breaks for food and photo ops against the Dublin skyline. We are impressed by the stamina of our participants so far!
Aside from the achievements of the individuals here this weekend, this event speaks to a bigger change taking place in the legal industry. A champion for the use of intelligent systems in the provision of legal services, Bryan is a fountain of optimism: “This entire experience has given me great comfort in knowing the future of law, technology and business is alive and well and moving forward hand in hand.”