Law Apps is an innovative elective subject taught in the Melbourne JD, in which students work with not-for-profit organisations to design, build and release a web-based application that provides expert legal information to non-lawyers.
In 2019, with support from Herbert Smith Freehills, we are once again calling for applications from not-for-profit legal service providers and other public interest organisations to collaborate with our students.
This subject has been taught since 2015. Apps may provide self-help tools, support for lawyers and workers in other organisations, or triage tools. Apps provide tailored legal information to the end user.
Last semester students built apps for a number of organisations, including:
- Australian Lawyers for Remote Aboriginal Rights
- Asylum Seeker Resource Center Human Rights Law Program
- Mental Health Legal Centre
- Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre's Police Accountability Project
What does it involve?
Students will build apps between August and October 2019, in collaboration with their not-for-profit organisation to identify common legal problems that can be answered through a series of structured questions.
This involves visiting the organisations and meeting with key staff so that students understand the relevant needs and concerns of clients and the wider non-lawyer public.
The applications are built on a platform provided by the software provider, Neota Logic. If the organisation chooses to use the app after the end of the semester Neota Logic will provide free hosting of the app for two years.
At the end of semester, student groups present their apps to an invited panel of experts and the winning group will receive the Herbert Smith Freehills Prize for Best Law App.
Submitting an application
To prepare your application you will need to be able to provide information about the following:
- Information about your organisation. For example, what is the focus of your organisation's work? Does it work directly with the public or with other organisations? (100 words maximum)
- What need is the App intended to address? For example, to help triage callers or to provide tailored legal information. (100 words maximum)
- Who will likely be the typical users of the App? For example, members of the public with little legal expertise or other organisations. (100 words maximum)
- Please identify one or more subject matter expert(s) who will be available to work with the student groups assigned to the App. Typically, subject matter experts devote approximately two hours or less per week to app development. (100 words maximum)
- Please include a few sentences describing how the App will be deployed. Where will the link to the App appear? How will its intended users know about the App and where to find it? Will it need to be publicised? (100 words maximum)
For any queries, please contact us.