The Global Legal Hackathon held earlier this year was the largest coordinated legal hackathon ever, drawing 5,000 participants from six continents, 40 cities and 22 countries. Now, organizers have announced plans for a return of the event in 2019.

The 2019 Global Legal Hackathon (#GLH2019) will begin the weekend of Feb. 22-24 in dozens of cities around the world. Like this year’s event, the hackathon will take place in three stages: the 51-hour innovation sprint during that initial hackathon weekend, then virtual semi-finals, followed by the final round a gala with judging panels drawn from industry leaders from around the world.

Legal blockchain company Integra Ledger, the principal organizer of the hackathon, said the 2019 event will continue the “open platform” philosophy of the first year, meaning it will be technology and vendor agnostic and open to all, with no cost to participants. Organizations anywhere in the world are welcome to host a local node over the hackathon weekend.

[For an insider’s look at the 2018 hackathon, see my LawNext interview with Dera Nevin about her around-the-world tour to meet with the legal hackers who participated in the event.]

Organizers say they plan several enhancements for the 2019 event, including more university involvement; more pre-event preparation materials; regional hackathon training sessions around the world for individuals and organizations; more free software tools in the hackathon tool kit; more investor engagement to support the semifinalists, finalists and winners; and the launch of “global communities of interest” to facilitate worldwide collaboration.

For the hackathon weekend, organizers say, the plan is as follows:

  • Registered participants will arrive at their local hackathon venue Friday evening for dinner and drinks and to meet the other participants.
  • The program then begins with a welcome from the host and sponsors, followed by a lightning round of 60-second pitches. Though not required, all participants will be welcome to pitch an idea, after which participants vote on the favorite pitches and projects.
  • All participants then form into teams around the winning pitches, after which the weekend-long innovation sprint commences.
  • Teams work throughout the weekend to create a working prototype of their innovation, with branding, a website, social media, real-world customer feedback, and possibly even actual customers.
  • On Sunday evening, Feb. 24, the teams at each venue make their final pitches and presentations to panels of local judges, and the local winners will then be selected and announced.
  • Those winners will proceed to the global semi-finals, conducted virtually.
  • Finalists will be invited to a global finals gala and awards ceremony in early May, where four winners will be announced.

David A. Fisher, founder and CEO of Integra Ledger, said that many of the participants in this year’s event found it to be a transformative experience. “It is often the first legal tech innovation sprint in which participants have ever been involved, and it can be a real eye-opener to discover how much can
be accomplished in one weekend, with a team of people who have never previously met.”

Global sponsor of the 2019 hackathon is Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory.

Registration is now open to participate in the hackathon or to be a host or sponsor. Registration materials can be found at www.globallegalhackathon.com. Questions may be directed to info@globallegalhackathon.com.