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Hong Kong University initiative supports development of legal solutions by law students

Hong Kong University’s LITE [email protected] initiative is supporting law students’ efforts to develop legal solutions through the use of legaltech.

The initiative recently partnered with Hong Kong-based community impact organisation Equal Justice and Australian legaltech startup Checkbox.

“LITE [email protected] offers undergraduate and postgraduate students from law and other faculties three types of socially impactful learning opportunities to prepare them as future legal professionals,” LITE [email protected] founding executive director Brian Tang told Australasian Lawyer. “As a law school incubator for A2J Tech and Lawtech4Good, LITE [email protected] students have to date won international prizes for co-designed A2JTech projects like AI-powered data banks to assist injured workers get the compensation they deserve, and computer vision tools to assist low-income tenants identify and report health and safety hazards.”

Tang explained that through the initiative, students gain knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship law through developing document automation and animated legal explainers for the LITE Lab website. These tools are utilised by tech startups, social entrepreneurs and NGOs.

Students also collaborate with under-resourced organisations to help design legal, regulatory and policy research. The research often involves emerging technologies and business models, Tang said, and provides internship experience. Moreover, students work together with the organisations in crafting proof-of-concept lawtech solutions.

Recently, LITE [email protected] students collaborated with Equal Justice on a tool to identify human trafficking, utilising the low-code automation platform developed by Checkbox. The project was in line with LITE Lab’s LawTech4Good program.

“When HKU’s LiteLab approached us asking if we’d to collaborate on their students’ project, it seemed like a great fit.  Equal Justice has digital innovation at the core of our start-up and growth strategy,” Equal Justice advisor Victoria Street told Australasian Lawyer. “We’ve embraced and embedded many digital solutions to accelerate our launch-build and growth, our client reach and our commitment to a low-paper environment. The speed at which we’re doing this has definitely been further catalysed by COVID-19.”

Checkbox CEO Evan Wong told Australasian Lawyer that empowering socially responsible organisations like Equal Justice was “incredibly important” to the legaltech startup.

“Similarly, partnering with Hong Kong University’s LITE Lab has been an opportunity to support the next generation of innovation-minded young lawyers in bringing their life-changing ideas to life, providing tools that allow students to easily create technology solutions to even the most challenging issues,” he said.

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