Lawyers and students come together for the first inaugural Harwood Andrews HACKATHON
Harwood Andrews has been sponsoring the Deakin Law Students Society Geelong for over ten years. In recent discussions with representatives of the Society, it was agreed that it would be a great idea to run a HACKATHON where lawyers from Harwood Andrews and students from Deakin could come together to collaborate, innovate and to tackle the challenges confronting the future of work and the legal industry.
This is exactly what we did on Saturday August 19th, where 5 lawyers, 7 students and 3 managers of the firm came together to brainstorm from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. We focused on digital disruption in the legal industry and how we could change the customer experience in the digital era. The aim was to develop a blue print of change where we can add value to our service delivery to clients.
It was a great opportunity for the students to meet and interact with lawyers in a real firm situation where they no doubt walked out with a better understanding of the day to day challenges of working in a legal firm and what happens behind the scenes.
What we did on the day
We split in to two teams, one of the hardest decisions for one team was to come up with a name. We ended up with The Disruptors v The Jokers. Game on! We believe competition is a good thing. Everyone had a couple of topics to choose from, with the Jokers choosing “The Client Interaction experience” and the Disruptors choosing the Client App – “Digitising the Conveyancing experience”. A structure was designed for each team to follow.
What we saw on the day
There was lots of fun, interaction, collaboration, discussion, laughter, creativity and innovation happening in the room, where post it notes were stuck all over walls and butcher paper scribbled on. Our mantra was NO IDEA is a BAD IDEA. We created a culture in the room where there was no fear to come forward with any idea. We also had great food, with yoghurts, fresh fruit, delicious quiches and sandwiches for consumption together with lollies on the table and lots of drinks, both hot and cold.
What was the outcome
WOW is all I can say. The ideas that were pitched at the end of the day by each team were amazing! I can’t give too much away, because the ideas that were put forward will be actioned and will differentiate us from our competitors! The Jokers broke down the interaction with clients into three stages –
- engagement; and
and were very succinct in their presentation with everyone taking a turn to pitch their ideas. The Disruptors prepared a digital presentation which was also impressive coming up with an app to change the way lawyers deliver conveyancing to clients. Again, each team member had the opportunity to present.
And the winner is!
I had the joy of being the Judge. I did ask for bribes throughout the day, but none were forthcoming, which proves that there was also ethics in the room! Both presentations were fantastic, but The Disruptors came away with the winning certificate, yes there were certificates handed out. The only difference was that their point of difference was a little bit more than The Jokers. However, everyone was a winner with each participant receiving a JB Hi-Fi Voucher for giving up their time.
A survey was sent to both our students and lawyers. Lauren Solomonson found the experience extremely rewarding “I loved that each team had a combination of students and lawyers, and everyone’s opinions and ideas were treated equally. This mix meant the ideas were not just innovative but practical to today’s legal industry”.
The ideas created will be actioned. This will become an annual event where I know we will have both lawyers and students lining up to participate!
General Manager – People