Gilbert + Tobin is proud to continue its support of the UNSW “Designing Technology Solutions for Access to Justice” course. 

The partnership, now in its second year, will enable UNSW to offer the program to its undergraduate and Juris Doctor students, and ensures that future lawyers will gain practical experience using cutting-edge legal technology.

The course uses Neota Logic software, which provides non-programmers with the tools to efficiently build, test, maintain and deploy expert applications. It allows users to navigate and build software applications and websites that replicate the thinking and actions of lawyers in the context of routine legal problems. After learning the necessary skills, students work in small groups and partner with a not-for-profit organisation to design and build a legal information system in response to a particular problem or issue.

Students from the 2017 cohort of the course showcased their apps late last year. The winning team designed an app in partnership with Kingsford Legal Centre that quickly and easily provides information on client options in response to penalty notices.

Gilbert + Tobin’s Chief Knowledge and Innovation Officer, Caryn Sandler, said the firm is committed to supporting this innovative approach to equip law students with the technological literacy they will need to be successful once they graduate. 

“The legal industry is going through a significant transformation, with the impact of technology like automation and AI fundamentally changing the way we deliver legal services and the value clients are looking to us to provide. The ability to design tech-based solutions for legal problems and build innovative products that can help improve the efficiency of legal processes is already a differentiator for law firms in meeting client needs and the competition for talent – these capabilities really are essential for lawyers entering the profession today.”

UNSW Law is committed to ensuring that it is producing modern law graduates who are adaptable and able to think outside the box as they are entering the legal profession at a time of immense change. A key part of this is training students with the ability to understand and leverage digital technology and innovation within legal practice. 

Associate Professor Lyria Bennett Moses reflected that “last year’s course allowed a group of law students to learn to work in a team to deliver a legal information system to a client in order to enhance access to justice. From drug penalties laws to international treaties applicable to migrant workers in the region, the students had an opportunity to write the logic for real legal questions and embed this in a useable application.” Associate Professor Bennett Moses is looking forward to taking the next intake of students on a similar journey.

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