Osler lawyers and software developer participate in Legal Tech Hackathon 2017

Sam Ip

June 7, 2017

[Photo: Left to Right] Ryan D'Souza, Christopher Aranadi and Sam Ip

On June 2-4, 2017, more than 280 coders, designers, lawyers and data analysts came together in Toronto to compete in Legal Tech Hackathon. Hosted by North of 41.org, Dentons, Neesons and the Conflict Resolution Place, with support from partners IBM and other tech providers, the hackathon brought together individuals with a technology background and stakeholders from the legal profession to develop a software solution to a challenge related to the legal industry over a two-day period.

As part of Osler’s commitment to legal innovation, Osler lawyers Sam Ip and Sean Bernstein, as well as Web developer Ryan D’Souza, teamed up with other coders and designers to take part in the hackathon. The two teams hacked for 48 hours with minimal sleep to create the following prototypes which demonstrate how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality can be used in solving some of today’s legal challenges:

  • Team Legal Monkeys (Sam Ip, Ryan D’Souza and a former Osler software developer) explored ways to leverage the firm’s big data through the use of AI. They implemented a solution that assists lawyers with negotiating complex contracts by answering the question: “What terms did they give us last time?” Lawyers simply email a contract to an AI server, which emails back an annotated version of the same contract summarizing what the counter-party conceded on in similar deals and, in some cases, makes an assessment of whether it thinks you can do better.
  • Team Trial By VR (Sean Bernstein, two software developers and a student from Western Law) applied Virtual Reality to jury trials by permitting jurors to “sit-in” on trials from the comfort of their own home by using virtual reality 360 degree headsets. They designed an end-to-end platform for security and sign-in. This solution allows individuals who live far from courts to conveniently serve as jurors. 

The teams presented their solutions to a panel of judges and winners were announced at the end of the hackathon weekend. For more information, visit the official Legal Tech Hackathon Toronto website. 

[Photo: Left to Right] Sam Ip, Christopher Aranadi and Ryan D'Souza