Law students competed in the 2017 Law Apps Bake Off Thursday, 25 May at Melbourne Law School. Over the course of a semester, the students worked in a “Law Apps” course with non-profit legal-service organisations to create applications that help Australian citizens address legal challenges.
The students built the apps using the AI software-development technology of Neota Logic.
The students unveiled their creations at the event before a panel of judges who evaluated the apps based on a variety of criteria including innovation, user experience, and effectiveness. The Best All Round Law App was awarded the Slater + Gordon Bake Off Award App. The winning app, Legal Aid Case-Helper, was developed by students Bryon White, Joseph O’Neill, Rachel Hovenden and Jessy Xie, for the organization Victoria Legal Aid (VLA). As part of their work, VLA provides lawyer services free of charge to clients who are unable to afford legal support and need help navigating the court system.
Other apps were created by student teams in partnership with additional Australia-based non-profit legal organisations, who provided the legal and counselling expertise now captured in the apps. These organizations included: Environmental Justice Australia, Consumer Action, Justice Connect and Refugee Legal.
While designing and building their apps over the semester, students learned how technology in general can be used to solve real-world problems in the legal sector. Law Apps instructor Gary Cazalet says, “The course has been very popular among students since its start two years ago and has led to employment offers for many students from law firms and corporations.”
For law student Annabel Tresise, the course showed how technology can help improve access to justice for people in need: “Millions of people need legal help but don’t know how to get it or can’t afford it. So it’s very exciting to apply technology to help meet that need,” Tresise noted.
Course instructor Cazalet added that the course receives support from technology provider Neota Logic and the law firm Slater and Gordon.
Neota Logic’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Julian Uebergang, said, “It’s exciting to see how law students apply Neota Logic’s technology to address legal and business issues in novel ways. The course at Melbourne is one of numerous courses that enables future lawyers without programming experience to solve real-world problems through software.”
A video of the 2017 Law Apps Bake Off shows each Melbourne Law School team presenting their app to the judges on the day of the competition. Examples of Neota Logic applications created by law students can be found here:https://applications.neotalogic.com/a/ls-showcase .
Slater and Gordon General Manager (Personal Injury Law Victoria) Dina Tutungi, who judged the finished products, said “…it’s amazing to see what aspiring lawyers are able to do to help everyone receive fair and equal access to the law, paving the way for further development in the years and decades to come.”
About Neota Logic: Neota Logic is a global provider of intelligent software for the legal and compliance industries. Combining rules, reasoning, decision management, and document automation, the company’s easy-to-develop smart applications enable business solutions that deliver process improvements, reduce risk, and ensure compliance. Neota Logic applications are mobile-ready, can be embedded within portals and websites, and integrate easily with other systems. More at http://www.neotalogic.com
About Slater + Gordon: Slater + Gordon is a leading consumer law firm in Australia and the United Kingdom. They provide specialist legal services to individuals in a range of practice areas including liability and compensation law, as well as other general legal services in areas such as family and relationship law, wills, and estate planning. They have a strong history of ensuring that more people are able to access affordable legal services. More at https://www.slatergordon.com.au