‘Winners were society, youth, and democracy’ at the GLH finals

Four teams won the first Global Legal Hackathon but “there were no losers” said final-round judge George Beaton about the 14 final teams and their impressive solutions

On Saturday, April 21, the first ever Global Legal Hackathon hosted its final round at Pier 60 in New York City, recognizing four winning teams and two runners-up for their remarkable legal tech solutions. Though winners of #GLH2018 were selected, there “were no losers,” as GLH judge George Beaton said in remark to the incredible quality of the 14 final teams and their solutions. It’s clear that the movement which began around the world two months ago has inspired something much bigger than the sum of its parts.

Global Legal Hackathon co-founder Aileen Schultz congratulates winning hackathon teams at the final round.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Global Legal Hackathon co-founder Aileen Schultz, still awestruck at the global groundswell ignited by local hackathons in 40 different cities, as she announced the winning teams. “Something amazing and beautiful happened, and these teams are testament to that.”

Industry leaders from five different continents formed the consummate judging panel, consisting of Australia’s George Beaton, Poland’s Michał Paprocki, Israel’s Esther Dediashvili, the US’s Wendy Callaghan, and Argentina’s Leo Elduayen. With all their accolades and industry knowledge, it was still no easy feat for them to decide on the winners — another testament to the teams’ efforts.

14 teams presented their solutions at the final round of the GLH, including Team Lemon from Nigeria, who developed an app to help decongest Nigeria’s prisons by connecting lawyers with people who need them.

“Judging the Finals of the Global Legal Hackathon was the toughest of gigs,” said Beaton. “The creativity, depth and potential socio-economic benefits of each of the 14 finalists were inspiring. There were no losers.”

He added, “GLH is a truly global movement seeking solutions to pressing problems related to law, justice, trade, fairness, education, privacy, and economic growth. The winners were society, youth and democracy — and four notable teams from Hong Kong, Hungary and the USA.”

Specifically, the two winning legal tech solutions for the private sector were Denver’s LexLucid — a browser extension that makes company service agreements more transparent — and Budapest’s RevealU, a tool that lets users discover and delete their personal data subject to Europe’s GDPR.

“GLH is a truly global movement seeking solutions to pressing problems related to law, justice, trade, fairness, education, privacy, and economic growth. The winners were society, youth and democracy — and four notable teams from Hong Kong, Hungary and the USA.” — George Beaton, GLH judge

The winning public sector solutions were Decoding Law, a browser extension created in Hong Kong that helps people understand legislation, and New York’s RightsNow, a voice command app for legal information. RightsNow also took home the Global Impact Award, sponsored by GLH key partner, Wolters Kluwer.

Team Decoding Law from Hong Kong was named a winner for their public sector solution at the GLH finals.

“We’re truly honored & excited to continue on our journey of bringing #accesstojustice to those who need it most,” the RightsNow team tweeted shortly after the event.

Runners up were ANIKA, with their platform that seeks to increase access to justice by connecting people seeking legal advice with lawyers and law students, and Sondier.ai, a “consensus-finding engine,” which uses AI to help parties come to favorable agreements without the costs of lawyers and mediators.

Team RightsNow took home the Wolters Kluwer Global Impact Award for their voice app that helps people navigate the law and understand their legal rights.

Perhaps the only thing as impressive as the solutions presented at the final round is the impact that the hackathon has already had in communities worldwide.

As Dera Nevin documented in her tour of the GLH locations around the world, the local events that together made up the first round of the hackathon have already seen some of their other teams continue building on their solutions. Attendees at the GLH finals got a taste of this with a preview of Nevins’s documentary #ToTheMars.

Speaking to the GLH Blog last week, Nevin said, “In some cases, the [GLH] literally changed people’s lives.” Watch a teaser for the documentary by visiting her LinkedIn.

The first media outlet to announce the Global Legal Hackathon back in December was Artificial Lawyer. AL’s Richard Tromans said in his reporting on the event, “It’s been great to see what can be done, and the level of enthusiasm and participation around the world is a testament to just how much interest there really is in leveraging technology in the legal world.”

Thanks to all the hosts, sponsors, and partners, the GLH2018 has already made waves in the global legal sector and in individual communities — and they’re already gearing up for next year.

Get ready for GLH2019. Here we come, world.

For more information, visit globallegalhackathon.com and follow us on Twitter @worldhackathon.