Last week the competition “Law as an app” was held for the first time within the Master Programme in Law & Information Technology, Department of Law, Stockholm University.
In the spring course of the Master Programme, the students discuss different technical applications that affect law and/or lawyers, e.g. legal information retrieval, legal automation, information security, social media and risk analysis. For the first time this year, the spring course was concluded with the practical assignment Law as an app which builds upon a few ideas Pam Storr, course director for the master programme, and Christine Kirchberger discussed at VoxPopuLII and which was inspired by the Iron Tech competition, at Georgetown Law.
Three teams of students were tasked to come up with an idea for a legal service or app. In other words, they were expected to suggest a legal service, which can be of use for individuals, companies and/or lawyers. The students were encouraged to be as original as possible, and were allowed to freely choose subject and jurisdiction.
Though they did not have to present a finished prototype of a legal service or app, they were expected to present an idea that could easily be developed. Two of the teams nevertheless presented impressive mock-up screenshots of how their service/app could look!
Besides originality and ease of development, the students also had to show there was a practical need for the app, something which all teams managed perfectly. The suggested apps included:
- a mobile tool for lawyers with several functionalities,
- a transnational online copyright licensing management service, and
- a more transparent & privacy-aware targeted advertising & profile management app.
A panel of judges consisting of Helena Hallgarn & Ann Björk, VQ AB and Johan Kahn, Delphi Law Firm gave feedback to the different teams and decided upon a winner. We thank the judges for their valuable contributions and also for sponsoring prizes for the winners!
The competition was very close and the winning team only won by one point. ProfileMe – a more transparent & privacy-aware targeted advertising & profile management tool – won the competition and the team received prizes from the judges. The winning team consisted of Akbar Khan, Arian Mohajer, Jonathan Orchard & Peter Slezak.
We congratulate them for their excellent presentation and a very concrete implementation of their idea. We also thank the other teams for their inspiration and excellent ideas!
The competition was appreciated by the students due to its practical approach. The students needed to think about how real-life challenges can be solved through the interaction of law and technology. The assignment is therefore a good way to prepare students for their future careers as IT lawyers.
The legal education has to better mirror the legal profession, meaning that students have to think about law in other ways than simply text and case-law. Within the profession today focus has shifted to more practical applications which can often be used by a wider audience. The profession is undergoing change and raises the bar for legal education.
Thanks to all teams and if any developer is reading this, the students may well be interested in actually developing these apps!