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ABA Announces “Hackcess to Justice” Competition

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“Hackcess to Justice” is a two-day competition created by the American Bar Association Journal that will occur on August 7 and August 8 at Suffolk Law School, according to BostInno.

Students, entrepreneurs and coders will work collectively toward building solutions that help broaden access to legal services. In other terms, their job will be to close “the justice gap.”

Legal Services Corporation, which is a nonprofit, says that some 80 percent of low-income citizens who have legal issues cannot receive the help they need. Issues such as child support, home foreclosure, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant disputes and divorce are all going unrepresented because of the high cost to hire a lawyer.

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According to the ABA Journal, despite technology becoming a part of the everyday life of lawyers, the technology has not impacted “the access to justice arena.”

Anyone who takes part in Hackathon is being asked to create mobile technologies that will reach more people who need to be guided through the legal process.

The event will take place at the same time that the annual meeting in Boston for the ABA takes place. The competition will begin on August 7 when the president of Legal Services Corporation, Jim Sandman, opens the floor with a speech. The work of all the competing teams will be judged by a panel of experts. A total of $3,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the top three hacks.

Andrew Perlman, a professor at Suffolk Law School, said the following in a statement:

“Suffolk’s Institute is focused on teaching students how to leverage technology to deliver legal services more efficiently and affordably,” Perlman said. “The Hackcess to Justice hackathon offers a great opportunity to showcase some of the ways in which this can happen.”

Perlman is also the director of the Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation, which was recently launched at Suffolk Law School.

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