Race to the Future: Bringing technology alive for Law students

By Lauren Solomonson

On Friday 4 May, a world first legal innovation event occurred in Melbourne, ‘Race To The Future’! Teams completed five challenges around Melbourne CBD, focussing on areas of change in the legal industry, namely: client-centred AI, e-discovery, mental health & wellbeing, legal education & careers and access to justice.

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Let the Race begin!

I was in Team Black, with fellow Deakin Law student Alex, and ACU’s Gianluca. Our mentors were Shaun and Zuong from Law Squared. Described as Australia’s “most innovative Law Firm” by Huffington Post, Law Squared is committed to practicing law in a more human way, and they work predominantly with Tech Start-Ups. Being partnered with such incredible mentors made the day inspired us to create innovative ideas, and push our creative boundaries.

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Shane and Zuong working with our team to develop ideas

One of the concepts we brainstormed included an AI-system for clients in the Environmental Law industry that assesses client proposals online and generates a report that uses Machine Learning to determine the likelihood of the proposal being approved by the relevant Minister. We also proposed a legal education program that would involve a tech-fitted van travelling to remote and rural communities across Australia to inform people on the legal process, using VR to show them what a courtroom looks like, and visit schools to increase the younger generation’s trust in the system.

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Brainstorming our new e-Discovery system

The project that Team Black ultimately presented at the concluding Fair was the ‘Montessori Legal Academy’ – A total revamp of the Bachelor of Laws program that integrates technology into the curriculum with a goal of exposing students to a high level of practical assignments. For example, we combined Corporate Law and Contract Law into one unit, that would be taught across a whole year, with learning tasks that would include reviewing corporation agreements, business structures, and drafting contracts for theoretical clients. The end goal of our new school would be to increase the overall employ-ability of graduates by making them more job-ready than your standard graduate.

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Myself, Gianluca, and Alex – Team Black!

Whilst our team didn’t take away the top prize, it was a wonderful experience to spend the whole day surrounded by like-minded and motivated Law students who share my passion for integrating technology further into the legal profession. Thank you to Harwood Andrews for sponsoring my participation in the event.

Keep your eyes peeled for our Harwood Andrews Hackathon event in Trimester 2 – your opportunity to experience a similar immersive event in Geelong!

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