The groundbreaking LawTech Bootcamp partnership between some of University of Canterbury’s brightest students and top New Zealand law firm Lane Neave has produced some remarkable new concepts.
Over 40 Law, Business and IT students joined forces with legal experts to create technology-based solutions to modern challenges in the legal sector during the incubator-style weekend at Lane Neave’s Christchurch offices.
After 48 intense hours of planning, brainstorming and research, eight teams on Sunday presented their innovative answers to the particular challenges they had accepted and will hopefully assist the legal sector to tap into rapid global changes in technology.
Lane Neave’s chief executive Peter Dwan said the Bootcamp had helped to develop the students’ understanding of the business world and provided the company with concepts that would help them embrace technological solutions.
“On both fronts, the presentations exceeded our expectations and it was difficult to pick the winners,” said Mr Dwan.
The teams presented technology-based legal solutions, from web-based legal support for start-up companies or property transactions, artificial intelligence to assist in marriage separations and a computerised success barometer to measure potential success rates for upcoming legal proceedings.
The groups were judged on their concepts, but also their presentation and the way they handled the vexing questions from the expert judging panel.
The winning team delivered the concept of the Life Vault, an estate management tool for digital assets.
In his presentation, Mr Dwan said the winners has demonstrated a deep understanding of the evolving issue of a digital footprint and managed to show the financial and emotional value of a person’s digital assets.
Mr Dwan added that the presentations showed that the future of the legal profession will look very different.
“In the way we engage, develop, deliver and package our expertise, it will all be very different. But instead of running away from those challenges, Lane Neave has decided to embrace them.”
Over the weekend, the students received support from legal experts, coaching from business mentors and liaised with Lane Neave’s clients to gauge the potential need and effectiveness of their ideas.
Freya Farrar, member of the winning Team Mike, said that working with students from different studies had been insightful and stimulating.
“And working in a real business for the weekend was very valuable. It was not just another assignment for University, but suddenly we were finding solutions for practical problems in the business world.”
Bootcam organiser Michelle Panzer, the Incubator Manager of the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, said the progress the students had made over the weekend had been “phenomenal” and she had been impressed with how hard and well the teams had worked together.
Ms Panzer said that the weekend was the first time the University has tried this type of Bootcamp inside a corporate company. “And judging the buzz amongst the students, I can’t wait to try this concept in other sectors.”