The legal profession is usually considered conservative on many fronts, but it’s a sector as ripe for digital disruption as any. With technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and IoT, all underpinned by Cloud Computing, the future of the law firm could look very different in the next 5 years.

Well, a lot of legal brains, technology experts, developers, designers and enthusiasts will be working, collectively on exactly that this coming weekend in the world’s largest legal hackathon happening simultaneously in over 40 cities and 20 countries.

The London stream of the Global Legal Hackathon (GLH) is being co-hosted by Cambridge Strategy Group, Agile Elephant and Pinsent Masons on February 23-25 at Pinsent Masons’ London office in the City.  A winner will be declared for London and that team will go through to a global competition with all the other cities, culminating with a winner announced at a banquet in New York on April 21.

All of the details and how to register are at: LegalHackathon.London

Join the World’s Largest Legal Hackathon this weekend

What is the goal of a team entering the Global Legal Hackathon?

The goal is to apply innovative ideas and emerging technologies to progress the business of law or facilitate access to justice for the public. Teams of 3 to 6 will come up with a prototype or proposal at the end of the hackathon to present in front of a panel of judges. We expect ideas using technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Chatbots, Blockchain, or the Internet of Things.

Where and when?

At Pinsent Masons office at 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES, (including their customer centre on the 15th floor with stunning views over London) over the weekend of February 23-25.  18:00 start on Friday, working all day Saturday and most of Sunday, judging takes place from 16:00-18:00 on Sunday and a winner will be announced before 19:00.

Who are the Judges and Mentors?

Our judges are Christina Blacklaws, Deputy Vice President of the Law Society; Frank Jennings the “Cloud Lawyer”; Dr Richard Sykes, chair of the Cloud Industry Forum; and Joanna Goodman, Author and IT columnist for the Law Society Gazette.

Our mentors, to help advise and keep the teams on track include Sophia Adams-Bhati, Richard Tromans, Silvia Cambie, Dennis Howlett, Alan Patrick, Janet Parkinson, Rob Millard, Julie Gottlieb and me.

Who is supporting this?

There are a lot of people to thank! IBM and Microsoft are providing developers with some free access to their cloud platforms.

LexisNexis and JG Consulting are our local sponsors.

The Law Society, the Society for Computers and Law and Disruptive.Live are supporting us too.

The Global sponsors are Integra, IBM Watson Legal, Global Legal Blockchain Consortium, Cadence, LawDroid and ONE400.

Who will be Hacking?

We’ve got teams entered from LexisNexis, Pinsent Masons, Vodafone, and Hult International Business School. Other participants are coming from IBM, Fliplet, Jurit LLP, Hook Tangaza, Sumitomo Electric Finance UK, Said Business School, Legalytics, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc, The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales, European Banking Authority, The Founder, Legal Utopia, The Law Society, Bryan Cave, Queen Mary University, Thomson Reuters, Kitmobs, Look, YADA Events, Teal Legal, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, City University, Oxford University, and Westminster University. We’ve got capacity for 110 people and 12 teams, but we still need more participants to sign up.

How can you get involved in the GLH?

Hacker teams and team members – Anyone involved in the law, interested in the law, involved in technology for the law, or coders and technologists who want to join the fun.  We know some firms will submit teams, and other teams will form around a great idea at the GLH.

Helpers – We need volunteers over the weekend to make it happen and keep everyone happy.

Mentors – We need subject matter experts and technologists who can mentor the teams over the weekend to help crystallise their ideas, challenge them, or keep them on track.

Judges – We’ve got 4 great judges, as listed above.

Sponsors – As well as the venue we will be providing food and drinks, name tags and supplies. We may even add a main prize and additional prizes. We need sponsors interested in helping us fund all of this – modest amounts in the range £250-500. This is a ‘not for profit’ exercise for the hosts, but we need to cover our costs (mostly pizza and drinks).

Follow us on Social Media

We will be using the social media hashtags #GlobalLegalHack & #GLH2018.  Follow the GLH on Twitter at @WorldHackathon and the London organisers @robmillard & @DT.

GLH has also partnered with legal media sources and Legal Talk Network. Our friends at Disruptive.Live will be generating video and live content and diginomica and the Law Society Gazette will be reporting on the event.

We think this is going to be something special. What happens when you get a bunch of lawyers, coders, designers, consultants and marketing types with their laptops and cloud platforms together over a weekend?  Please come and join us and find out!