The Global Legal Hackathon (GLH) kicked off this past weekend. The GLH is the legal industry’s version of “We Are the World,” a global coming together of the legal ecosystem to advance social and business objectives. The business objective is improving the ‘business of law’ by utilizing block chain, AI, and other technologies. The GLH assembled teams of coders, entrepreneurs, marketers, and others to support a unified vision: rapid development of solutions to improve the legal industry world-wide. The social objective is to solve the legal industry’s ‘wicked problems’–access to justice and defending the rule of law, among others– by the rapid development of solutions that will improve the legal industry globally.

The scale of GLH is remarkable—6 continents, dozens of countries, and more than 40 sites around the world hosted hackers competing–and collaborating–to ‘move the needle.’ The breadth of industry stakeholder participation is equally noteworthy–law firms, in-house departments, corporate sponsors, law schools, techies, and entrepreneurs within and outside the industry engaged. The convergence of the retail and corporate segments of the industry is also noteworthy, because technology is creating a market compression that might result in a fusion of the two.

The Global Legal Hackathon personifies the collaborative approach taken by the legal tech community. Technology is a team sport; it requires participation of stakeholders with different skillsets, from different geographies and different cultural backgrounds, to identify and address common challenges collaboratively. The well-defined, material focus of the GLH evidences a maturation of the legal tech community; it does not advance technology as an end unto itself but as a vehicle for forging a scaled global effort to solve law’s ‘wicked problems’ and to improve legal delivery for all.

This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared in Mark’s Forbes column

Full video of Mark’s opening remarks from the Global Legal Hackathon San Francisco below (13 min):

About the Author

Mark A. Cohen

Mark is a global thought leader in the legal industry focused on legal delivery and education. In addition to serving as Elevate’s Chair of the Advisory Board and Chief Strategy Officer, Mark is a Distinguished Fellow at Northwestern University Law School; a regular contributor to Forbes where he has a column on the global legal marketplace; a sought-after keynote speaker; and CEO of LegalMosaic, a legal business consultancy and repository for his work.

Mark A. Cohen

Mark A. Cohen

Chair of the Advisory Board and Chief Strategy Officer

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