Linklaters hosts European student hackathon to redesign the future of law
Linklaters has recently concluded the Linkathon 2022 – a legal hackathon where law students across Europe were invited to work in teams with the firm’s lawyers to develop innovative and creative ideas for the leading law firm of the future. The contest builds on the success of last year’s Linkathon, which resulted not only in new ideas from the future legal talent but also the recruitment of a number of the participating law students.
Throughout February and March, 75 students and lawyers took part in the event, which ran across Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, and Sweden. Split into 10 national teams, the contestants were challenged with developing ideas and solutions on what tomorrow's leading law firm should do to:
- develop strong personal relationships and engage with clients in innovative ways
- foster curious, creative, and empathic lawyers with an entrepreneurial mindset
- embrace new ideas, technology and tools and encourage their teams to try new things and not be afraid to fail.
As part of the challenge, the contestants received advice, resources and coaching support on innovative topics including Legal Design Thinking, LegalTech and new roles in law. The firm also invited its own clients to provide feedback on the teams’ ideas to ensure the client experience was at the heart of their ideation.
“The Linkathon was different, fun and challenging at the same time. It was a great way to meet and interact with law students and young Linklaters' attorneys and see their creativity be put to the test.”
– María Juliana Muci, Spotify
“I deeply enjoyed the Linkathon experience, which gave me the chance to meet inspiring people and share ideas about possible future law firms’ innovations. I was impressed by the smartness, creativity and receptiveness of the students and I really appreciated the friendly yet insightful approach of Linklaters’ professionals.”
The Linkathon ended with a virtual awards event where each team voted on their top three ideas before the Linklaters’ judges panel cast their final votes. There were a broad range of creative ideas put forward – from interfaces for connecting with clients and an online ESG platform, to effective knowledge-sharing solutions and D&I training using VR. Many of the ideas are aligned with the firm’s strategic technology roadmap or existing tools and will be considered as part of the firm’s continued development of its resources and services.
The winning idea came from Team Germany – they presented a ‘one-stop shop’ app for all client interactions with Linklaters’ lawyers and services, that would enable clients to track progress of their matters, book meetings with their Linklaters contacts and upload documents.
Andreas Steck, Regional Managing Partner Europe & German Senior Partner, commented:
“This year’s Linkathon provided an exciting opportunity for law students across Europe to collaborate with our associates to generate creative ideas to take forward and re-think our approach to legal work. It has been brilliant to see our clients get involved alongside such bright and innovative students, all to help enhance the way we operate and deliver services to our clients.”
Reflecting on the event, Lea Pipo, a student from Team Germany, said:
"Taking part in Linkathon 2022 was a great experience. I learned a lot about innovation in the legal industry and what the law firm of tomorrow could look like. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with a team of dedicated students, and coaches from Linklaters as well as network with legal professionals from across Europe."