Global law firm Clifford Chance has formed a partnership with low code app building platform Fliplet to help its trainee lawyers learn about producing their own tech applications and to better engage with the subject of innovation. The project is using a regular internal hackathon for each new cohort of trainees that joins the firm.
Under the project over 100 trainees have participated in the last 12 months so far and more internal hackathons are planned for next year.
Ian Broom, CEO of Fliplet, told Artificial Lawyer the company had been working with law firms for some years, initially with Bird & Bird and now several others. However, he noted that it was not a legal tech company per se and worked across several sectors.
The kinds of apps that can be built with Fliplet that could be relevant to lawyers include mobile applications for dawn raids, or for helping a law firm to create a directory of all the tech tools that it has on offer for clients, for example.
(See short video below of what Fliplet does.)
There has been a surge in interest in no code and low code applications recently – even though they have been around for a long time in some cases.
This is perhaps being driven by the desire of law firms to get their lawyers and other staff engaged with technology, but are also aware that most people in a law firm won’t be able to code.
Low code and no code platforms also – in theory – allow relatively less expensive ways to create applications for specific challenges inside a law firm or inhouse legal team. We have also seen an increase in similar types of event held by Neota Logic and Bryter.
Broom also noted that this is in line with a wider trend in the market called ‘Citizen development‘, which is in effect encouraging employees to build their own tech to solve the problems they face in their work.
However, Broom added: ‘It could create problems if everyone is making their own software inside a business.’ And one can imagine the CIO of a large law firm having a shock at the thought that trainees will be putting in place new software they have built themselves.
Broom said that Fliplet has a strong focus on creating applications that can be used on a mobile phone, something that may be of interest to the clients of law firms who may be on the move.
Yasmina Kone, Graduate Recruitment Specialist and organiser of the low code hackathon at Clifford Chance, said: ‘The hackathons have proved an efficient way to up-skill incoming trainees in an interactive and exciting format. It’s an opportunity to use a tech platform, develop new skills and start thinking about how they can improve internal and client-facing processes. We’ve been impressed by their ideas, insight and creativity.’