Students Lead Innovative Technology for Lawyers


From left: Kenneth Chan ’17, Yap Jia Qing ’20, Lee Ji En ’17, Norvin Chan ’16, Jerrold Soh ’18, Khoo Yong Jie ’16 

Members of alt+Law, a NUS student-led legal technology interest group, were invited to present their take on legal innovation to Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Ms Indranee Rajah ’86. Also present was Ms Joan Janssen, 2 Director-General (Legal Group) who led the MinLaw team behind last year’s Singapore Legal Futures Conference.

 

The team was invited to present their ideas after alt+Law won the Legal Futures Competition organised by the Ministry of Law last year. The members of the winning team (Group Category) are Norvin Chan ’16, Eric Hu ’16, Stella Chen ’15 (SMU) and Chia Yee Hui (Idea Ink). The winner of the Legal Futures Competition (Individual Category) was Norvin Chan ’16.

 

The presentation team, comprising Lee Ji En ’17, Norvin Chan ’16, Khoo Yong Jie ’16, Job Chong ’16, Bu Fan ’18, Jerrold Soh ’18, and Kenneth Chan ’17 discussed several current projects with Ms Rajah.  These include: 

A legal document version control system based on programming best practices built by Yong Jie
A statute collaboration interface being developed by Jia Qing
Automated legal information downloaders programmed by Yong Jie and Norvin
An exploratory report into legal data analysis prepared by Bu Fan and Jerrold
A statistical analysis project on sentencing precedents done by Wu Guo Wei ’16 and Norvin as part of Professor Daniel Seng’s course titled Artificial Intelligence, Information Systems and the Law (LL4283V)
A computerised legislation database created by Norvin and Yong Jie


These projects were presented as part of a larger narrative that technology can empower lawyers to focus on more complex work and on delivering accessible justice.

 

Ms Rajah noted that these projects were “very interesting” and “dovetailed nicely” with the Government’s vision of a highly innovative legal industry - that embraces technology - but whose lawyers remain well-versed in traditional legal skills. Also discussed was the role of future lawyers in the future of law, and how alt+Law’s projects could be developed into practice.

 

After the meeting, the team was invited to present to the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) Working Group on the Legal and Accounting Services Sectors, co-chaired by Mr Chaly Mah, retired Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Southeast Asia. The team shared the grassroots’ perspectives on the future of lawyers with the results of a survey they conducted which reflected law students’ concern over the need for greater technology adoption in law firms.

 

Norvin, Yong Jie, Bu Fan and Jerrold also presented projects on legal analytics and document version control they have built, based on needs in the legal industry they saw from first-hand experience. Jia Qing presented alt+Law’s proposal to organise a Legaltech Festival in mid-2017, and Ji En closed with recommendations on encouraging legal innovation in Singapore.


alt+Law with Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Ms Indranee Rajah
 

 

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