The leading German legal magazine, JUVE Rechtsmarkt (Juve Legal Market), has published an extensive article about the tradition-breaking Neota Logic hackathon run by global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in May of 2018 at the Freshfields German headquarters in Frankfurt.
The June edition of the influential monthly publication focuses on ways that law firms and corporations in Germany and elsewhere are starting to create software as means of delivering legal services. The magazine’s clever cover art shows a traditional, handcrafted German clock with a digital display of the time shortly before midnight:
The cover’s headline reads: TURNING POINT: Law Firms and Corporations are Discovering Digitization
Inside the magazine, one of the major articles is entitled, APPetizer and describes how Freshfields worked with Neota Logic to create a two-day hackathon in which 36 students from Germany’s top law schools worked in small teams to build expertise automation apps using the Neota Logic drag-and-drop development platform.
The article opens with a vivid description the enthusiasm of the students as they discovered their power to program at the hackathon:
From the room at the end of the hall cheers and laughter are heard — along with the slapping of high-fives. … Inside, at the crowded tables, are law texts, laptops, and flip chart sheets filled with notes and sketches. At one table, students are putting their heads together in front of a screen and talk excitedly in English. They found the bug and made the fix. They’re working with urgency and excitement because soon they’ll present their work to the jury…
The apps built by the students performed a variety of functions, including the calculation of antitrust fines based on a variety of weighted criteria — and the delivery of narrowly tailored advice on complex compliance questions.
The article explains that Freshfields had several key goals in putting on the hackathon with Neota Logic:
- Demonstrate to students and prospective clients that Freshfields is using technology to deliver legal services
- Identify exceptional students who have both traditional legal skills and technical acumen
- Extend the Neota Logic experience of the Freshfields staff members assigned to support each student team
In detail, the article describes the key aspects of the hackathon — from the student preparation (some legal research and online tutorials on Neota Logic), to the final judging criteria (which included user experience, creativity, and leveraging technology).
Most importantly, the article provides a first-hand account of non-technical students discovering their ability program — and realizing what that can mean for their profession and their careers. According Neota Logic’s VP of Education and Community Programs, Kevin G Mulcahy, the Freshfields hackathon was well-received by the students because…
Today’s law students run their lives through apps, but, in general, they don’t feel they can create software unless they’re coders. But when they discover Neota Logic, they realize they can create powerful legal apps and they get excited about the possibilities.
In summary: By working with Neota Logic — through their student hackathon and their in-house app building — Freshfields has been able to tap into the innate programming skills of law students, lawyers, and other non-technical professionals who want to directly leverage their legal expertise — and excel in 21st century legal practice.
Get an English Translation of the Article: If you’d like an English translation of the APPetizer article, please send your request to email@example.com.
Learn more about Neota Logic hackathons: For information on how your law firm can work with Neota Logic to produce a hackathon with students and/or your own staff lawyers, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.