International law firm joins effort to create online legal AI apps

20 law students are given the chance to develop the web applications that help people with their legal problems.

Allens, the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and software company Neota Logic are working together on a project that supports students to create online artificial intelligence applications that help people address their legal problems.
Called the Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice, the program which will commence in March 2017 gives 20 UTS law students support to create web apps that promote access to justice and make tailored legal information more reachable.
“An understanding of technology – especially something as powerful as AI – will be an increasingly vital competency for lawyers of the future,” said Anna Collyer, Allens partner. 
“Working with clients to build solutions specific to their needs is key to our approach. We’re delighted to work with the next generation of lawyers as they combine the disciplines of law and technology for the benefits of our community partners,” Collyer added.
The project is inspired by a same project developed by Georgetown University Law School and Neota Logic in the US. Director of Education at Neota Logic Kevin G. Mulcahy developed the model for the program with Georgetown Law Professor Tanina Rostain.
The program will “help law students learn to think more like engineers so their legal expertise can be leveraged via the Internet and benefit more people,” said Mulcahy.
The students who will develop their applications under the project will vie against each other for the Best Social Justice Application award in a competition similar to the traditional moot court competition.
“Collaborating in teams with qualified lawyers and in consultation with their clients, our students will experience authentic practice management, while honing their analytical and communication skills,” said UTS Law Dean Lesley Hitchens. 
“This is a unique opportunity for our students to discover how innovative thinking and legal technology can solve social justice problems.”
Allens lawyers as well as partner not-for-profit organisations will be directly consulting with the students on their applications.

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