Impressions from Berlin Legal Tech 2018

Impressionen vom Berlin Legal Tech – von

The Berlin Legal Tech 2018 Hackathon

One year after the first Berlin Legal Tech Hackathon & Conference, the 2018 edition was already a „must attend event“ for the rapidly growing legal tech community. About 140 lawyers, developers and legal engineers from all over the world attended the event, many more applied. The idea of rethinking the legal future by working in interdisciplinary teams on concrete solutions attracts a growing number of forward-thinkers from the worlds of law, software and business alike.

Day 1 — Wednesday February 22th

On February 22th 140 legal hackers met at the CRCLR co-working space in the heart of Neukölln. With its simple and raw aesthetics the space exuded a unique atmosphere, leaving room for all sorts of creative thoughts.

The attendants of the Legal Tech Hackathon enjoyed the first exchanges on legal tech topics over their coffee even before the event officially started.

At 10:00 am Florian Glatz and Stephan Breidenbach gathered the participants of the hackathon in a big “tent bubble” installed by the art collective Plastique Fantastique. The hosts gave a warm welcome to all the lawyers, developers and legal engineers present, briefly explaining what to expect from this two day event.

Idea Hacking

The hackathon started with a warm up period, the idea hacking phase, where the participants would discuss different topics and ideas in small groups.

These groups were lead by legal tech and other domain experts covering different topics such as blockchain, A.I., e-governance and industrialization. Participants have developed ideas and use cases in an open exchange, supported through various creative methods based on Legal Design Thinking.

Idea pitching and team building

The ideas formed in the brainstorming sessions were then pitched to all participants to encourage the formation of teams around shared ideas and interests. Everybody was invited to share their ideas which many participants to as a chance to — sometimes even repeatedly — present their ideas as they developed in discussion with others.

Many were curious about this year’s legal tech visions.

Pitching the first ideas to find team members.

A plethora of interesting ideas made it hard to decide which team to join 🙂

Lunch gave the participants the opportunity to let the ideas sink in and replenish their energy for the competition.

After the break, everyone got a second chance to look for lawyers, legal engineers and developers to support the team or to pitch some additional ideas.

The ideas became more and more concrete.

Prototype hacking

In the afternoon of the first day, the real work started. About 10 teams sat together to discuss their ideas, program prototypes and develop business plans.

Deck chairs created a cosy atmosphere for intense brainstorming.
Private creative spaces allowed the participants to concentrate.

Some teams attended the hackathon already having some great ideas in mind.

The last year’s winning team returned with a new ides to defend their title. There were even more people joining them.

The many flip charts were used to visualize the ideas and concepts.

Loud clicking noises filled the room while the participants were hacking.

Free massages by the team around Jochen Stechmann allowed the legal hackers to relax after the first couple of hours of intense prototyping.

Some teams couldn’t stop hacking all night.

Day 2 — Friday 23th

Early in the morning the teams returned to finish their prototypes and work on their pitches for the presentation in the evening.

The band Shingo played some cool music for the participants.
The Mirage catering team did a great job keeping the spirits of the participants up.

At 4 pm the hackathon ended and everybody impatiently awaited the many pitches.

Pitching, award ceremony and after show party

At 6 pm the presentation of the newly developed prototypes started. A big bus full of people from the simultaneously running conference arrived for the grand finale.

The hackers pitched their ideas and prototypes to a qualified jury.

The products presented by the participates ranged between working prototypes and fully thought through business concepts.

The audience was impressed by the stunning results achieved in such a short time.

The teams presented contract management software, an advice exchange platform exclusively for lawyers and various negotiation tools.

The winning team Sondier.AI ready to take home the great awards.

Prizes were sponsored by our Sponsors Contract Vault, Wolters Kluwer, Blue Swan, Aeternity Blockchain and many others.

The winning team presented an innovative negotiation tool. The team “I say oh!” won the second price, presenting their idea of ICOs for everyone. The third place went to the team “Bamboozle” presenting a contract management tool which also won the Acess to Justice Price by Wolters Kluwer.

The after show party was a welcome opportunity for further networking in a relaxed atmosphere. Drinks, music and a great crowd!

Photos by Merav Maroody