Great Scott: Law goes high tech
This year’s employability week at BPP University was themed around legal tech and offered Legal Practice Course (LPC) students expert knowledge and practical experience of the latest legal technology, with an insight into how technology can be pivotal in enhancing their legal careers.
The week culminated in a ‘Legal Tech Hackathon’ in which 47 students were divided roughly into teams of 5 and set to work collaboratively to create an innovative legal solution to a real-life legal problem.
The problem was supplied by the Pro Bono Centre at BPP: to apply technology to the creation of Scott Schedules in residential service charge cases for use by litigants in person. When the First Tier Tribunal (where BPP run a pro bono drop-in advice clinic) issues directions they usually include template Scott Schedule. Many litigants in person have difficulty translating the template plus there are the usual problems of filling in forms, such as leaving boxes blank or filling in boxes incorrectly. Can legal tech resolve some (or all) of these issues?
Over beer and pizza the teams had just 1 hour and 20 minutes to devise a solution and afterwards they had to make their pitch before their peers and the judges: James Wilkinson (Head of Content Automation, LexisNexis®), Alex Smith (Innovation Hub Manager at Reed Smith), Tony Martin (Supervising Solicitors Pro Bono at BPP) and Jimmy Vestbirk (Co-Founder of F-Lex and Founder of Legal Geek).
Choosing a winner was no mean feat, not least because of the high quality presentations. In the end two teams of runners up (Bob DA Builder and Legal Nuts) were commended. RPC + 1 the winning team of Matt Plampton, Max Rossiter, Daisy Fulton, Lucy Houghton, James Watson were chosen in part for their recognition that the landlord tenant relationship was one that needed to be preserved so pushing negotiation and settlement were key.
All three teams were home with goodies from sponsors LexisNexis® and, more importantly all students thought the experience very worthwhile.
The question remains whether we can, with the help of LexisNexis®, create a working tech solution. Watch this space!