By Raghda Al-Ajely
LawLess – the winning team of GLH Stockholm chosen to represent Sweden in the finals in New York on 21 April 2018.
Having applied to the Global Legal Hackathon shortly before the deadline, I was looking forward to go to my first event where the two worlds of law and technology are at focus. Being both a lawyer and a software developer, I came to the event feeling more excited than anyone could ever be.
The event took place on 23-25 February at the offices of Synch in Stockholm. Following the hashtag of GLH, we were told around 10 000 legal tech enthusiasts from six continents will participate in the world’s largest legal hackathon, the first of its kind in Sweden. The GLH engages law firms, legal tech companies and governments internationally to bring together legal innovators. The goal is to support rapid development of solutions to improve the legal industry worldwide.
There were a mix of developers, privacy professionals, court administrators, court judges, students and lawyers mingling before the start of the event. A great presentation was held by Markus Mild from NASDAQ with the encouraging message to the participants, “ditch the fintech label for regtech and increase the value of your business by a billion. Compliance is big and a lot of money is being invested in it”.
Once it was time to form a team, it came naturally. Being a rare mixture of software developer and a lawyer, I got picked by the team very quickly and we started discussing ideas immediately. Parking tickets, GDPR class actions, immigration, access to justice and compliance were all ideas that were thrown around in the hopes of finding the most viable business idea. By Friday afternoon, the team was fully formed consisting of initially six persons. Some of which have later went on to act as advisors and consultants for the team, and the team is now looking to expand during the upcoming weeks, get in touch with us here.
Spending the whole weekend at Synch’s offices, we quickly noticed the philosophy behind the design of space that Synch had set up in its office. We appreciated the mindfulness put in to creating an open area for people/employees to always be talking to each other when passing through the meeting area, the coffee bar and the meeting rooms; where brainstorming and exchange of ideas were made possible. Intrinsically, as people run into each other and make eye contact, ideas happen.
The birth of LawLess:
LawLess aims to help combat a lawless world by using advanced AI to reduce the time to search through legal documents/cases allowing you to search in your own language and automatically rank best matched documents. Saving translation costs as well as saving time sorting legal documents.
Our pitched idea is two-fold:
- A searchable Q&A database with reliable answers to common and recurring legal questions, aimed towards laymen. Either selling directly to customers, or forming partnerships with banks, cellphone carriers and others that want to get an edge to their product by adding customer value in the form of reliable legal advice.
- A searchable database for professionals. The database is initially filled with raw data from court judgments, governmental documents etc. Whereby semantic folding is used to facilitate professionals work.
From problem to a solution through technology:
Our market research showed there is a lack of sufficient legal search tools throughout the legal domain. People are used to the increasingly smart tools available to them when using other technical services and have grown dissatisfied with the tools available within the legal domain. During our initial tests of the new technology we noted an increasing amount of areas where it could improve on existing solutions.
The solution we came up with was using the technology in what it is best at, to create a legal database for professional use, then creating an incentive for the professional users to solve the problem for us. This approach not only keeps the technology within its most efficient area, it also allows us to gain control over a channel of user-created-content and focus it towards the most relevant legal domain we want to expand in at a certain time. Our solution uses a 3-phase approach to deliver the results.
We use a technology called semantic folding, a technology developed by cortical.io.
It is a new machine learning approach, inspired by the human brain, and works by a 2D map representing a different context point for each word – called semantic fingerprints. Words that are of similar meaning would have similar context points, words that have a very different meaning would have a very different context point.
Why is our legal database better?
It is simply better than the alternatives. Traditional legal databases use meta-tagging made by humans, an expensive process that incurs data loss. Everything that is not meta-tagged will only be searchable through other means. There is also a limited amount of meta-tags that can be used before meta-tagging loses its value or becomes too expensive. Our database is not created by humans nor uses meta-tagging, it uses semantic fingerprinting that incur no data loss. Meaning every word in the document is accounted for in the fingerprint and will be included in the search. The end result is a cheaper and more searchable database. In addition, we can quickly cover whole legal fields even cross the language barrier and input documents that are in up to 40 other languages.
In conclusion, in comparison to what is available today our search tool is cheaper, better, faster and with the ability to search cross-language.
Investors and others interested in contacting us, feel free to contact us through LinkedIn
Our partners and advisors:
Cortical.io Vienna, have agreed for us to work with their new prototype Legal API and have offered to us the possibility to develop a product for certain type of customers.
Lilsis AB, Stockholm have offered us a secure peer-to-peer trust based private social network. A standards based strong encryption to secure on-premise corporate networks.
Stockholm University – Legal faculty and innovation office have agreed to advise LawLess in matters covering start-up businesses.