Lane Neave LawTech Bootcamp
21 August 2017
The Lane Neave LawTech Bootcamp brought together students from various disciplines to tackle challenges posed by ever-advancing technology to the legal sector. Teams were challenged to devise an innovative and implementable solution to a selection of issues that were identified by Lane Neave.
UCE hosted an introductory evening the week before the Bootcamp to brief the teams on the selection of issues, which ranged from digital asset storage and estate planning, automating property transactions, to the ability to calculate the success of a potential court case. After presentations from Michelle Panzer of UCE, and Peter Dwan, CEO of Lane Neave, the teams had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and plan for the weekend ahead. Each team had a mixture of law, IT and business knowledge, ensuring that all aspects of issue could be tackled.
The Bootcamp commenced a week later on the evening of Friday 11th August. The weekend was opened by presentations from UCE and Lane Neave, and a tour of their new offices. Each team was given a meeting room as their ‘base’ for the weekend - not to mention the snack boxes provided by Lane Neave that blew everyone away! It was clear there would be no shortage of brain fuel for the weekend!
A fantastic aspect of the Bootcamp was the support provided to the teams. Each team was partnered with at least one legal coach and business mentor. The knowledge that the teams had access to was incredible, ranging from legal practitioners who were experts in their practice area, to business mentors who had been involved in successful startups and business ventures. The mentors had a great insight into the challenge that each team decided to tackle, and provided invaluable advice on how to turn the ideas into a workable solution. After some final brainstorming fuelled by the snack boxes, the teams adjourned for the day to a dinner and networking evening kindly hosted by Lane Neave.
The first full day of the Bootcamp saw the teams working towards a two minute pitch to a range of legal coaches, business mentors and UCE staff. It was a great chance for the teams to get feedback on their idea, as well as their pitch. The teams then went straight into a speed mentoring session, rotating around knowledgeable business mentors with various backgrounds in start-ups and entrepreneurship. The concept was five minutes to pitch their idea, and glean information from the business mentors. Everyone got to practice making an engaging quick-fire pitch, and honed in on how to ask the right questions to make the most of the mentors’ expertise. Again, the feedback was invaluable and gave the teams a lot to think about and iron out for the rest of the afternoon (following an amazing Lane Neave lunch spread), in preparation for the final pitch on Sunday.
The focus of Sunday was the final presentation of the solutions to the panel of judges. With re-filled snack boxes, the teams put together their final pitch for a practice run before the final presentations in the afternoon. Throughout the morning, the business mentors and legal coaches would touch base to make sure everything was on track, and provide any last minute advice and encouragement. By mid-afternoon everyone assembled for the final presentations to a distinguished panel of judges: Peter Dwan (CEO, Lane Neave), Ursula Cheer (Dean, University of Canterbury Law School), Graeme Crombie (Technology Partner at Lane Neave) and Ben Reid (Executive Director of AI Forum in New Zealand, and the Consulting Director of Memia). The presentations were incredibly interesting as each team’s idea was vastly different. By the end of the presentations everyone came away with a better understanding of the issues that technology was posing for the legal sector, and ways that Lane Neave, and other law firms, can use technology to their advantage.
The Bootcamp came to a close with networking and socialising over dinner and the presentation of the top three ideas. The weekend was a great opportunity to meet new people, network with professionals and be exposed to ways that the legal sector can work with, and ahead of, advancing technology. It is a rewarding experience to be able to connect what we study in university to contributing to a global real-world issue. The skills and experience gained from the weekend were invaluable, and this would not have happened without Lane Neave, the UCE team, and the business and legal Coaches.