Students from law and computer sciences compete to help the deaf community access legal services
27 October 2016
Our students recently took part in an innovative Hackathon event, alongside students from computer sciences, to create a mobile app or web solution to some of the problems faced by the deaf community in accessing legal services.
Our Legal Advice Centre has been working with the Manchester Deaf Centre to identify the challenges faced by the deaf community when seeking to engage the legal system and potential ways to improve accessibility.
A Hackathon was proposed and sponsored by international law firm Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer as a way of fostering understanding between Law and Computer Science, recognising that the lawyers of the future will need to be confident in working with digital technologies.
The exciting, 24 hour event took place from 6pm Friday 21 October to 7pm Saturday in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. In total, seven teams competed, each comprising of a mix of Law and Computer Sciences students, studying both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Alongside Freshfields, we were joined by Jimmy Vestbirk, Founder of LegalGeek, a legal tech start-up support network. Jimmy, along with academics from each school and a representative of the Manchester Deaf Centre, judged the outputs produced by the participants.
Head of the School of Law, Professor Toby Seddon said, "It was fantastic to see the level of student commitment to access to justice and their willingness to take part in a novel and challenging activity which truly tested their creativity and stamina! The results from all teams were amazing."