Geeks and Lawyers Combine Forces for First Hackcess to Justice Hackathon

New Orleans has held its fair share of hackathons over the last few years, but none specifically tailored to the legal field until now. Hackcess to Justice, a hackathon to promote greater access of legal options, is kicking off next week during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

Hackcess to JusticeThe event, hosted by the Louisiana State Bar Association, ABA Journal magazine, and local tech companies, will be held on March 21 and 22 at Loyola University College of Law.

Local entrepreneur Damon Burns explains the event as “a group of forward-thinking attorneys connecting to a group of brilliant software engineers to create technology that serves individuals unable to afford legal representation.”

“When Louisiana citizens don’t have access to a lawyer, they essentially have three options: forgo legal services completely, represent themselves, or seek help from a legal aid organization,” said Graham Ryan, attorney at Jones Walker. “Hackcess to Justice is going to address this problem head-on by developing self-help apps and applications for legal aid providers.”

Up to $3,000 and consulting services will be awarded to the participating entrepreneurs, coders, and developers who impress the judges with their apps that allow increased access to the civil justice system. Participants will be judged on execution, innovation, impact, and overall creativity and general appeal.

Hackathon judges include: Nadine Ramsey, New Orleans City Councilmember; Glenn Rawdon, Program Counsel for Technology for the Legal Services Corporation; Mark Cunningham, President-Elect of the Louisiana State Bar Association; Monte Mollere, Access to Justice Director for the Louisiana State Bar Association; and Abid Hussain, corporate attorney.

Those who plan to attend can RSVP here.