We’re quite excited that there’s an Ottawa meetup for the Global Legal Hackathon, coming up on February 23-25, 2018!
For those not familiar with the concept of a hackathon, quite simply it’s a meetup that looks to brainstorm and implement technical solutions to solve a problem or address a need. Programmers, lawyers, business leaders and more are set to come together, form teams, and create solutions which they will then present to a panel of judges.
The hackathon is free to participate, and is looking for legal community members with all types of skills to join in! If you have an interest in legal tech and the future of technology in law, this is definitely not to be missed!
You can find out more information and register for the hackathon on their website, as well as following the hashtags #GLH2018 #glhOttawa on Twitter.
Here is a more detailed FAQ, for those inclined to know more:
The Global Legal Hackathon
is a chance for thousands of people in 40 cities around the world to combine ideas and technology to build concepts and solutions that address business and practice of law challenges and access to justice opportunities. This 3 minute video tells the story: https://youtu.be/QOly-S2x8NA
In Ottawa, collaborators from Invest Ottawa, Compass / vLex Canada, UOttawa faculty of law and its Programme de Pratique du Droit, and many others, with the generous support of IBM and the CCLA, will converge on Bayview Yards for a weekend of collaboration, hacking, creation and education. Visit the Ottawa event site for full details.
Specifically, multi-disciplinary teams come together to collaborate, build and launch mobile, web apps or any other innovations aimed at solving a particular problem. People can come individually or as a team, with an existing idea to pitch, or to listen and join one of the teams that will be formed at the start of the event. The goal is to come up with a prototype or proposal at the end of the hackathon to present in front of a panel of esteemed judges that includes UOttawa Law Dean Adam Dodek, Invest Ottawa CEO Michael Tremblay, and National Chair of the CBA Futures Committee Martine Boucher. With adequate sponsorship, we also hope to create a number of other local competition categories.
Throughout the week-end, teams will be assisted by mentors, be entertained and educated by many guest speakers addressing such topics as privacy issues for legal apps, the Internet of Things, blockchain, legal market changes, AI and Machine Learning, among other things. We are also expecting a very special guest to speak about the Ontario Minister of Attorney General’s efforts to introduce technology innovations to improve access to justice.
The winner for Ottawa will go through to a global competition, culminating with a global winner announced at a banquet in New York on April 21. But in the long term, we all win as the Ottawa law and tech communities come together and find new ways of supporting each other!
Our objective is to bring 150 people together, with up to a further 100 participating remotely or attending different parts of the event as observers. We are making great progress toward those targets.
When is it?
February 23rd at 5pm through to February 25th at 9pm. Full schedule details are updated daily on the Ottawa site.
Who else is involved?
Globally, city hosts include major legal publishers like Thomson Reuters and Wolters Kluwer, major tech companies like Microsoft and American Express, major law firms like Orrick and Baker Hostetler, and major law schools like USC and the Singapore Academy of Law. More city sponsors as being announced every day, and it reads like a who’s who of forward-thinking legal tech companies and institutions.
We are anticipating very good participation from the law school, and are pleased to see strong interest brewing in the Department of Justice and other areas of the government and of the courts, but we have an especially strong desire to engage the tech talent being developed in Ottawa’s colleges and universities. The world is watching and this is great place for those with technology, design, and programming skills to shine. With the legal community coming around to understanding its need to collaborate with these professionals, this event will prove a great opportunity for that collaboration to begin.
What about the technology aspects?
Any and all technologies are permitted and can be expected to be used in this event. In addition, some organizations will be making available technology and content to help turbo-charge participant efforts. Details of sponsored technologies will be posted on the global site shortly. As set out in this blog post from the global organizers vLex (in partnership with Compass / vLex Canada) will be making its Iceberg AI platform available to 100 teams around the world. The platform enables access to the vLex case citator as well as to Machine Learning capabilities such as automated legal topic classification, entity and key phrase extraction, and “semantic comparison” functionality trained on legal information but applicable to any document type. In addition, teams will have the option of having their version of Iceberg pre-loaded with either 33,000 Canadian Federal Court decisions or 30,000+ decisions of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Iceberg will be have at least one IBM Watson capability directly integrated (a natural language understanding module that extracts names, topics and key phrases from any document type), and IBM will shortly be announcing the details of other Watson capabilities that will be available for teams to use.
As to what teams may build — who knows! The results will be influence by the depth and breadth of law and tech community participation as well as the quality of guidance teams receive from volunteer mentors.
Great!! How do I get involved?
To sign up as a participant or attendee, access the sign-up forms through lawtech613.com
To volunteer as a mentor (which essentially amounts to sitting at a table for an hour or two as teams come up to share what they are doing and seek your guidance on elements that could make the idea useful in the real world), please contact Colin Lachance at email@example.com
To participate as a sponsor or to offer up an expert speaker for the Saturday education sessions, please contact Colin Lachance at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship packages will go to support food, tables, room rental and other aspects. The associated rights, privileges and recognitions will be tailored to the firm, and the packages will range from $1,000 to $3,000.
Yes, as you might have guessed, to step up and support your community as a sponsor, please contact Colin Lachance at email@example.com
What do I get as Platinum Presenting Sponsor?
For $5,000, the Platinum Presenting Sponsor will receive:
- premiere recognition as sole Platinum sponsor
- scope and space for firm signage (up to 5 placements, including behind the speakers on opening day and sunday evening pitches, a booth and collateral display table for the full event
- acknowledgement from the main stage at each main step of the event
- option of delivering a 30 minute information session during a Saturday speaking slot
- a designated “<your firm/institution here> Mentor” corner to provide business of law counselling and feedback to hacking teams
- premiere placement and high volume mentions and thanks on the lawtech613.com site, the event app and social media communications between now and one week following the event
- opportunity, at your option, to create a designated prize category and award
- authorization to use and re-use for any purpose, the week-end media reel developed by the videographers we bring in to capture all the excitement and action of the week-end!