Technology is the key to helping lawyers and other professionals bridge the gap between Scots and access to justice, says Law Society of Scotland
The Law Society of Scotland and Legal Hackers Scotland are inviting teams to gather round their laptops for the Law Society’s first ever Access to Justice ‘hackathon’.
The 48 hour event, which runs over the weekend of 17-19 June, is a pop-up innovation lab for lawyers, designers, technologists and others to collaborate and design sustainable and scalable solutions that alleviate pressing access to justice issues.
Stuart Naismith, convener of the Law Society of Scotland Access to Justice Committee, explained: “We’re delighted at the enthusiastic response we have had so far to the hackathon. Like many public services, the justice system has seen significant financial constraint in recent years. With cuts to legal aid, court closures and a range of other factors, access to justice is becoming more challenging for people across Scotland, particularly in rural areas.
“We think that there is great potential in using technology to help address this and introduce new digital products which would improve access to justice for people across the country.”
Arlene McDaid, founder of Legal Hackers Scotland, said: “The hackathon provides a unique opportunity for lawyers to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals and crowdsource innovative solutions to pressing access to justice issues. To participate all you need is enthusiasm, ideas and an open mind!”
Participants are invited to design a product to address challenges around access to justice in areas including:
• Legal information for young people – designing new ways for young people to access legal information relevant to them.
• Legal processes – using technology to help people navigate legal processes and documents, such as small claims actions
David Flint, senior partner and head of IPTC Group at MacRoberts, said: “We’re thrilled to be involved in this project. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the legal profession to work with IT experts in creating new apps and other online solutions which will help deliver legal advice and services, particularly for groups that can be harder to reach.”
Teams will pitch their projects to an expert judging panel on Sunday, 19 June. The winners will receive £2,000 and there are runners up prizes of £1,000 and tickets for HackTrain 3.0
It’s free to participate, although places are limited. Register here.