News

22/10/18

UNSW law students show how technology can help improve access to justice

UNSW Law students will showcase their own digital legal applications on October 23 when they compete at the end of their ‘Designing Technology Solutions for Access to Justice’ course.

The sponsor of this year’s course is law firm Gilbert + Tobin, with AI tech company Neota Logic providing UNSW students with its platform to build the legal applications that are designed to improve access to justice in a range of different ways. 

Gilbert + Tobin Partner and Chief Knowledge + Innovation Officer, Caryn Sandler said: “We are very proud to continue supporting this unique learning opportunity and UNSW’s innovative approach to equip law students with the technological literacy they will need to be successful once they graduate.

“The ability to design technology-based solutions for legal problems and increase the efficiency of legal processes is increasingly becoming a differentiator in the delivery of legal services and the value clients are looking to law firms to provide. We are excited to be helping judge this year’s showcase and to see the legal applications the students have created to improve access to justice for those who most need it.”

UNSW students have spent the semester learning Neota Logic’s no-code web development technology and have been working alongside leading not-for-profit legal organisations to design and create their legal applications. 

The apps leverage the growing advances in technology and help to address longstanding issues in the community legal sector that are often overlooked due to issues with funding and capacity. 

Neota Logic Head of Education and Community Programs Kenji Yamada said: “There has been a growing trend within the Australian community legal sector where organisations have been able to distribute legal information at internet scale.”

Yamada noted that one of the advantages of legal applications is that “individuals can access legal information around the clock”.  

This is the second year that UNSW Associate Professor Lyria Bennett Moses has taught the ‘Designing Technology Solutions for Access to Justice’ course. 

Bennett Moses said: “It is important that future lawyers understand legal technology projects, and this course provides an opportunity for students to gain experience from the inside.

“Students are building applications to enhance access to justice in a wide variety of contexts, from assessing local interactions with police to monitoring conditions in immigration detention internationally.”

The students will showcase their finished legal applications at the presentation evening on Tuesday October 23 at the UNSW Law Building before a panel of judges. The legal applications will be assessed on various criteria including innovation, user experience and effectiveness. 

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