HackJustice2 was my first hackathon dealing with legal problems and solutions.
Over two days, my team came up with the idea to utilise optical character recognition software to scan standard letters relating to legal issues (e.g. evictions, social security benefits). Based on the information gathered, the program would guide users through options and collect relevant information.
The aim was to empower users to help themselves, as well as to streamline the information-gathering process for relevant organisations such as community legal centres.
Time flew by so quickly. We spoke to about four different people who each gave their input on our idea. Considering that we made a mock-up of our ‘platform’ or whatever it was just using Google Slides, it was pretty impressive.
It was the first time I’d ever done a tech MVP and sure, it wasn’t as amazing as the team that coded a chatbot over the weekend (WHAT??) but we had so much fun and I learned A LOT about how Centrelink works (or doesn’t).
This made me hopeful that I would be able to utilise my legal background in a socially beneficial way (not necessarily through ‘lawyering’). I’m going to use every opportunity I get to understand where we can improve legal processes and access to justice.
Check out my other hackathon experiences here.