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Allens, UTS Law and Neota Logic ‘Tech Challenge for Social Justice’ NGO partners announced

24 November 2016

The Allens, UTS Law and Neota Logic ‘Tech Challenge for Social Justice’ is set to commence in autumn semester next year, following the announcement of the program’s five NGO partners.


Beth Patterson
Chief Legal and Technology Services Officer at Allens

Based on an original program developed in the US by Georgetown University Law School and Neota Logic Inc, the ‘Tech Challenge for Social Justice’ will see 20 UTS Law Brennan Justice and Leadership students collaborate with staff from Allens law firm to create law apps using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Students and Allens staff will meet with representatives from each of the NGOs to identify legal issues experienced by their clients that can be addressed online. Participating NGOs include the Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), Inner City Legal Centre Sydney, The Aurora Project, Anti-Slavery Australia and Macarthur Legal Centre.

Students and staff from Allens will build the law apps using Neota Logic software, designed specifically for people without prior programming experience. The apps are intended to promote access to justice and make tailored legal information more reachable for vulnerable communities.

Some examples of the apps to be created include an application that will match Indigenous students with internships for The Aurora Project, and an interactive legal advice guide for refugees hoping to stay in Australia for RACS.

UTS Law Dean, Professor Lesley Hitchens, said the ‘Tech Challenge for Social Justice’ was a “unique opportunity” for students to “discover how innovative thinking and legal technology can solve social justice problems”.

Dr Pip Ryan said the apps will give students “the opportunity to explore not only technology, but also access to justice”.

The program will culminate in a showcase event in August next year, where teams will present the finished apps to their assigned NGO partner.

Story by: Tess Gibney

Photo by: Nicholas Commins