News

Manchester Uni law students design app to field out-of-hours legal advice centre enquiries

By on
8

Hits online shelves later this year

The University of Manchester’s legal advice centre can now handle out-of-hours enquiries from members of the public thanks to a new app designed by a group of its law students.

The handy online tool, created by three second year law students on the university’s ‘Legal Tech and Access to Justice’ module, allows the centre to process, prioritise and, if necessary, redirect clients when it is closed.

The three undergrads who developed the app, twins Cian and Tadhg Hickey, and Laura Ferraz, enrolled on the uni’s first-ever lawtech module, a 12-week course delivered in partnership with AI company Neota Logic and magic circle law firm Freshfields.

“The app reduces the amount of preliminary work for people in the advice clinic,” Professor Claire McGourlay, director of learning and teaching at Manchester Uni Law School, told Legal Futures. “I’m not saying everyone will use it. We deal with disadvantaged people and some of them are not comfortable with using the internet or a smartphone. But it gives clients one way of finding out if we can help with a legal problem, or whether they have one in the first place.”

The 2019 Legal Cheek LPC Most List

Continuing, McGourlay said she hoped the app, which was designed by the students in their free time, would be ready to hit online shelves before the start of the new academic year.

The module is part of a wider, more ambitious lawtech project that brings together academics from its schools of law, business and computer science with corporate law firms and chambers. The collaboration has dual research and teaching aims and so far includes Freshfields, DWF, Weightmans, Fletchers, Bott & Co and St John’s Buildings chambers.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

8 Comments

Anonymous

Is it an out of office reply?

(3)(0)

Manny LLB

Yes Laura!

(3)(0)

Proud Manc Law grad

Absolutely BANGING

(1)(0)

arya

what is the name of the app?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

“I’m not saying everyone will use it. We deal with disadvantaged people and some of them are not comfortable with using the internet or a smartphone. But it gives clients one way of finding out if we can help with a legal problem, or whether they have one in the first place.”

Bit of an understatement – the people who come to Jobcentres for help are usually old people or technologically illiterate people (or both)

It would be nice if this was acknowledged as the cynical CV-fodder it is.

This ‘there can be an app for anything’ mentality in the tech world also needs to die, but that’s a separate point.

(5)(2)

Anonymous

One problem is that there can be only a certain number of apps you can have on your phone. Some 90%+ apps in Google Play and iStore are never used. This one would probably join the ranks as it is unlikely that it would be properly maintained and updated (the idea is good though).

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Probably a holding advice with a general overview. The next day a fee earner can then review the overnight submission and respond more specifically. It’s not like the client will be able to do anything with the advice as being out of hours the court will be closed.

LEI cover firms already do something like this.

(2)(0)

Alistair Maiden

What a cynical bunch of comments. The app is very impressive. I run a legal tech business and have since employed two of the students involved in the project.

(5)(3)

Comments are closed.