CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) served as one of the U.S. host sites for the 2018 Global Legal Hackathon that took place from February 23-25. This worldwide event encourages law schools, law firms and in-house departments, legal technology companies, governments and legal industry service providers to collaborate in the rapid development of solutions to improve the legal industry, worldwide.
The team formed at ALA headquarters consisted of six individuals and two mentors:
- James Cornell, III, Incoming President-Elect and Executive Director at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody, PC, Austin, Texas
- Teresa Walker, Past President (2015-2016) and Chief Operating Officer at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, Nashville, Tennessee
- Debra Elsbury, CLM, Region 3 Director and Firm Administrator, Threlkeld Stevenson, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Adam Scavone, a solo attorney in Chicago, Illinois
- Bert Saper, User Interface Web Developer, Association of Legal Administrators, Chicago, Illinois
- Oliver Yandle, JD, CAE, Executive Director, Association of Legal Administrators, Chicago, Illinois
- Mentors: David Berger, Chief Technology Officer of Integra Ledger and Matt Heck, President of Hard Problems Group, LLC
“There is nothing better than a deadline to force action. The dedicated time during Hackathon weekend was a great chance to focus on an issue that has proved challenging for our industry,” says Oliver Yandle, JD, CAE, Executive Director of ALA.
As clients demand more efficiency and price predictability, the team focused on application for the Uniform Process Based Management System (UPBMS) — ALA’s comprehensive system of codes that encompasses the wide variety of processes needed to support the practice of law. While firms are adept at tracking many staff’s and lawyer’s time for billing, a lot of the necessary behind-the-scenes work isn’t as easily categorized and tracked. The team worked to devise an automated solution using existing technology that helps track time for many of these back-end tasks.
“We were able to demonstrate the application in real time and it worked!” says Yandle. “We got great feedback from the judges on the presentation and will advance to the next round of the Hackathon competition. Although we were the only team, the Integra mentors believe that our solution is one that will compare very favorably in later stages of the competition.”
Winners from each of the global hackathon sites will submit updated entries on March 11 and eight semifinalists will be chosen to compete in the final round, April 21 in New York, where four winners will be selected. An estimated 600 teams for a total of 5,000 people took part in the Global Hackathon that weekend.
About the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA)
ALA is focused on the delivery of cutting-edge management and leadership products and services to the global legal community. It identifies and provides solutions to the most critical strategic and operational challenges its members and customers face today, and prepares them for the opportunities and challenges of tomorrow. For more information on ALA, visit alanet.org.
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