The Global Legal Hackathon (GLH2019) concluded a couple of weeks ago and the results have now finally been collected from around the planet (see the full list below). And it’s an incredibly inspiring sight to behold when you consider that 6,000 people across 24 countries spent the same weekend creating and designing legal tech applications, ranging from places such as Nairobi in Kenya to Wuhan in China to Belo Horizonte in Brazil, plus all the more well-known legal tech centres one would expect such as New York, Berlin and London.
It really is quite a feat of organisation to have done this and credit must be given to David Fisher who started this project. The success of this second hackathon is also a reflection of the global interest in changing the business of law through the better use of people, process and in this case: technology in particular.
It also shows, as Artificial Lawyer likes to repeat, that technology knows no borders, especially in a world where a person in even the remotest part of the planet can download software from the internet. Basically: if you have an internet connection and a computer there is an enormous amount you can do when it comes to legal tech. You just need a problem to solve and sufficient patience and enthusiasm to try and solve it.
AL also really likes the global aspect here. The world’s problems (legal or otherwise) will not be solved by national projects alone. We need to tap the talent that exists all around the planet. Maybe the next generation of legal AI systems is being developed by someone in the suburbs of a city in China, or in a small town in South America? We’ll never know unless we all connect with each other and share what we are working on. So, the GLH is doing great work in this respect.
So, which of the many first round winners stand out? Ah…that is a really tough question. But, here are a few that AL noticed on the basis that they looked like novel ideas or are pioneering areas that need more attention.
AL has no idea if they will become viable applications, or would work in ‘real world’ conditions, or if they will remain in a demo state, but these looked interesting:
- e-Defensoria, from Florianópolis in Brazil seeks to overcome access to justice barriers by allowing citizens to send in complaints to the Public Defender using texts, audio and photos of documents. How it turns out remains to be seen, but it could be a way of breaking down the formal barriers to justice.
- viz.law from Germany, which seeks to show legal document search results as a network, rather than a list. How this will work once fully developed remains to be seen, but better interfaces and visual representation of legal data is an important area that often gets overlooked. (There are of course companies already doing such things, e.g. Brainspace, but still, it’s good to see this developing in Germany and is a welcome step.)
- Betta-Law, Jos in Nigeria, is an interactive platform, created to provide immediate information on legal rights in several local languages. What stands out here is the multi-lingual aspect. Most of the legal tech applications we see today are mono-lingual, and it’s nice to see an application that seeks to be multi-lingual from day one. This especially matters in countries where there are multiple local languages.
- Uthority, also from Germany, which had the novel idea of helping people deal with legal language in the letters they receive. It looks very ambitious, but could work. Basically it does an OCR scan of the letter, then converts the legal language into plain language everyone can understand. It also suggests next steps. AL really likes the way it addresses a real world problem, i.e. 99% of people have no idea what lawyers are talking about.
- CLEVIUS, from Milan, Italy seeks to create a specially dedicated legal language translation system, tapping open resources such as decisions of the European Courts, which are translated into 24 languages. Again, not seen this before. There are many translation services out there, e.g. Google. But, ones made specifically for legal language..? So, this looks to be a new idea. Great stuff.
- Clausana from the Freshfields team in London aggregates comparative terms and conditions within industries, enabling consumers to choose goods and services on the basis of terms and conditions that are favourable to them personally. This one stands out simply because it goes right to the heart of a longstanding issue faced by everyone: few people read Ts&Cs and even if they do they make no sense to 99% of people. So, anything that helps there has to be good.
- And from the US, Freecog, developed in St Louis, which is a mobile app to replace the cash bail system in America. Using GPS tracking, facial recognition software, and speech to text voice authentication, criminal defendants would check in daily on mobile devices, rather than posting a cash bond or paying a bondsman. No idea if this would be permissible under current US rules, but it does seem to be a novel solution to a complex justice system problem.
What happens next?
- March 15, 2019, first-round winners will submit their solutions as a video demonstration to the second-round judging panel.
- March 25, 2019, winners from the first round are announced. These finalists will move to the final round to present their winning ideas.
- May 4, 2019. Round-two finalists will be invited to demonstrate their technological solutions to a live panel of judges. Location of the Gala will be determined soon.
The first round winners from each city that took part. (Note: text from the GLH organisers.)
Argentina – City of Buenos Aires
MODELEX is a tool that seeks to automate the generation of legal documents. Users will be able to start from all types of model writings and complete them faster, without errors and with content and format required by each jurisdiction either from the web or from a mobile device.
Australia – Adelaide
Streamlining the legal journey and triangulating technologies to provide visual and realistic expectations of the justice system.
Australia – Melbourne
Classify builds a profile of each class member through an intuitive interface and empowers members through update content produced jointly with the representative law firm. The second is improve the invidualised distribution of damages to plaintiffs. Finally to reduce time spent by experts and lawyers in this process through the aid of natural language processing, and machine learning.
Brazil – Balneário Camboriú
Easy Legal helps lawyers organize and keep track of the legal cases they are involved in and helps clients to follow the progress on the cases altogether. This will not only increase trust between lawyer and clients but also democratizing justice by means of translating juridical expressions and also help lawyers to optimize their time.
Brazil – Belo Horizonte
Platform for reviewing social security benefits, enabling any citizen to verify the values received, finding some anomaly the system connects the citizen to the lawyer. Promoting the citizen easy access to justice and to the lawyer automation of calculations and creation of all the documents necessary to start the legal process and professional visibility.
Brazil – Curitiba
Platform to extract the testimony of sexually abused children and adolescents, with the accompaniment of professionals of the protection network.
Brazil – Florianópolis
e-Defensoria is a Web and mobile platform, where citizens register their needs, through texts, audio, and photos of documents. We will have a record of the complaint with the Public Defender, monitor progress of the case in real time. The solution has a toolbox so the Defender can track the arrival of requests, perform sorting, manage their activity queues, scheduling, and resolved cases.
Brazil – Jaraguá do Sul – SC
We are trying to solve the lack of alternatives and attractive methods of law practice from the student or legal professional. Through gamification, we create a game with steps that simulate the legal process from the begining to the end of the case. And step by step, through trial and error, the player receives feedbacks from his decisions.
Brazil – Manaus
A platform to solve consumer problems. For the consumer: Educates consumers about their rights, indicates possible ways to solve their problems and help to pursue their rights quickly and easily. For the lawyer: It connects the lawyer with cases that match his specialty. For the judiciary: Reduces the number of cases that need legal proceedings. For companies: Reduces cost by resolving conflicts before they become lawsuits.
Brazil – Porto Alegre
Sibi is a gamified platform that trains its users in the abilities needed to become great negotiators and mediators. Sibi was born to make it easier, funnier, faster and cheaper to aquire these 21st century skills. As the user learns answering to practice-centered questions, more features and levels become available for use or purchase, including solving real-time case studies with other users around the world though videocalls.
Brazil – Recife
Spider is an algorithm capable of processing the data coming from the DJE by classifying them in various types of procedural acts, leaving the data accessible through a very intuitive platform where it will have some tools like Filters and several options of downloads each documents in any type the user wants to.
China – Hong Kong
Access our Community
Access Our Community is a pro bono case matching platform. Currently legal services NGOs and pro bono clearinghouses use email to distribute their case list to their own network of pro bono lawyers. Our solution puts all the cases into one place so individual lawyers can easily identify the pro bono opportunities that match with their expertise, interest and availability in real-time.
China – Shanghai
ReLeX is a NLP-based lawyer recommendation system that allows users to express their legal needs in plain Chinese and receives quality recommendation of experienced lawyers in the most salient fields for their legal enquiry. Our system utilises AI-powered technology to analyse the meaning of user queries and extract lawyer specialties and winning rates from publicly-available resources such as the official verdict documents.
China – Wuan
Panda Run is an intelligent litigation case management system, including legal document writing, lawyer file management, lawyer workflow control and so on. The goal is to reduce 30% of lawyers’ time spent on repetitive and supportive work, increase customer satisfaction and improve lawyers’ well-being.
Germany – Berlin
Visualize legal document search results not as a list, but as a network. Goal is to work on publicly available databases, but also on your own data collections (e.g. if you have thousands of related documents from the same field).
Germany – Frankfurt
People experience difficulties to comprehend legal language in the letters they receive from the authorities. Solution: An app allowing to take a picture of the letter with OCR functionality, giving a quick summary of the most relevant information in “normal” language and suggesting next steps. The app enables people to understand what the authority wants from them and suggests next possible steps and as such facilitates them to realize their rights.
Germany – Hamburg
Chatbot for resolving GDPR questions raised by financial end customer business.
Hungary – Budapest
QuickPact is a revolutionary online contract drafting platform with smart contract solutions. By prompting users to enter information about their desired deal via intuitive flashcards, QuickPact provides customised solutions to each unique situation. QuickPact also enables users to automatise the delivery and effect of certain contractual elements, thus is able to provide services to users even beyond the drafting phase, throughout the entire lifespan of their deal.
India – Delhi
A complaint redressal forum where, quite simply a user could go to the website, fill a form based on the kind of complaint they had (Insurance reimbursement related, banking sector, legal, finance, government-related, consumer-related) and a ticket would be generated for the same. The inbound team would work on addressing the complaint while the legal team would draft the documents required to submit to the consumer forum at a very economical cost making the entire process seamless for the client.
Israel – Tel Aviv
Legal Force is a lean, simple and yet a powerful collaboration tool. Legal Force collates comments from colleagues, as well as internal and external stakeholders all into one working document.
Italy – Milan
The translation of a contract or a judicial decision is a repetitive and time-consuming activity, subject to frequent errors. CLEVIUS is a tool which supports professionals operating in law firms, public administrations, and judicial offices in the translation process. Upon drafting of the contract, CLEVIUS suggests contextualized translations through a machine learning system. It is based on decisions of the European Courts, which are translated into 24 languages, a legal glossary, the acquis communautaire, and last but not least, on the law firm’s archive of documents.
Kenya – Nairobi
An iteractive digital legal assistant and researcher with case tracking capabilities via a live causelist.
Netherlands – Amsterdam
Hyarchis Content Services
Legal Professionals need to be on top of their business (even directly after a vacation). For that they use a lot of different paid and public sources and that’s a lot to manage. We provide the right information when it’s essential. Not by another platform or databank but directly in the document while the legal professional is drafting it. We do this by using a MS Word Plugin thats classify the document realtime by an AI suite and it gives you the information from public and paid sources thats essential for the document.
Nigeria – Jos
Betta-Law is an AI interactive platform, created to provide immediate information on legal rights in several local languages. It is a user friendly platform that provides legal services, especially to the less privileged, persons living with disabilities, minors, illiterates, persons living in rural areas and regions where internet access is unavailable by providing USSD code and special features like voice over to enable the physically challenged access the platform.
Poland – Warsaw
InteliLex helps lawyers find the content they already created any time in the past within seconds by directly integrating with Microsoft Word and by using Machine Learning algorithms. InteliLex suggests relevant parts of text while a document, such as a contract, is being written.
Romania – Bucharest
Lawrelai addresses most common legal issues that tourists traveling abroad might encounter. It uses NLP and AI to match and respond automagically in realtime.
Singapore – Singapore
Clausebot is a smart knowledge assistant that provides lawyers a fast and easy way to find relevant clauses and contracts by tracking regulatory and case law changes, as well as internal policies, and updating a firm or company’s contracts database.
South Africa – Johannesburg
Kagiso, meaning “Peace”, is an online mediation platform that is designed to provide a cost effect alternative to expensive and time consuming civil court actions; matches disputes to an appropriate mediator and uses blockchain technology to provide encrypted and unforgettable documents; and works on any physical or digital platform.
Spain – Madrid
We are creating a personal legal assistant. It will gather all legal information for a person, such as: a penalty fee, the renewal of the ID card, taxes verification, and so on. The user will be provided with contacts with various law firms to get legal help.
United Kingdom – London
Clausana aggregates comparative terms and conditions within industries, enabling consumers to choose goods and services on the basis of terms and conditions that are favorable to them personally. It has the power to create new benchmarks, and a new era of consumer awareness.
United Kingdom – Manchester
Claimbot is an online B2C chatbot, powered by machine learning, which analyses claims, predicts the probability of success, prepares key forms and links users with lawyers. Claimbot facilitates simple, customized and tailored access to justice and eases the burden on the lower courts in England & Wales.
USA – Chicago
IntelliWHY helps law firms navigate the inherent tension between old law and new law. It works within the existing law firm structure to provide a solution that allows law firm leaders to address the needs of millennial lawyers without disrupting the existing law firm business model.
USA – Chicago Riverwoods
1CAIR combines an alerting feature with AI-empowered contract review to immediately surface areas of potential risk exposure triggered by external events. It can also be invoked to surface potential risks in business transactions, such as mergers & acquisitions or corporate restructuring.
USA – Houston
K L McKinney
We are developing a tool called Visualytics that will assist lawyers in visualizing eDiscovery data, combined with the information used to manage the movement of that data through the EDRM process.
USA – New York
Classify -New York
Classify allows consumers to use their purchase history from vendors like Chase and Amazon to help see if any of their purchases qualify for compensation from class action law suits.
USA – Philadelphia
Eviction Safe Philly
Providing knowledge and guidance to underserved tenants in the eviction process and streamlining intake for legal aid providers.
USA – Phoenix
Clients and attorneys are having trouble keeping track of and managing important documents. DevilDocs solves this issue by using a decentralized way to distribute and manage encrypted documents.
USA – Provo
Allows users to take photos of court documents, tells them what the document is, what response is required, and what the deadline is. It offers an automated form, attorney review, and filing for a fee.
USA – San Francisco
OurTerms is a platform that helps to bring contracts to life by operationalizing and automating contract terms, removing the need to invest time and money into understanding the document, and presenting users with easy ways to take action.
USA – St. Louis
A mobile app to replace the cash bail system. Using GPS tracking, facial recognition software, and speech to text voice authentication, criminal defendants would check in daily on mobile devices, rather than posting a cash bond or paying a bondsman.
USA – University Park
Penn State Law
Blockchain based E-discovery solution. We propose a solution to authenticate electronic evidence that is used during trial by storing a hash of the electronic evidence on a blockchain.