New legal technology software applications are helping lawyers digitize and automate their work. And thanks to visual development platforms, building apps doesn’t require writing code or prior technical expertise.
In a path-breaking initiative, three NYLS students recently built legaltech apps using Microsoft’s Power Platform and presented their work to Microsoft’s Legal Operations Technical Sharing Committee.
Professor Houman Shadab, Director of NYLS’s Innovation Center for Law and Technology, and Jason Barnwell, Assistant General Counsel-Modern Legal at Microsoft, led the session. Around 50 participants from leading law firms and corporations attended, and several provided very positive feedback to the students.
“Your work really excites me because you’re building the future of what we need,” Barnwell noted.
Watch the Presentations
Joanna Moskwa 4L Evening presented ProcureMe, which she described as a solution for a contracting problem she encountered in her daytime job. The app, intended for in-house counsel and contract managers, streamlines the procurement process between a contractor and subcontractors. It enables quick and easy document exchange, tracks key approvals, and archives information.
Serene Qandil 3L shared Investment Suitability Assessor, an app to help broker-dealers make suitable investment recommendations to their clients. The Assessor surveys investors on their circumstances and comfort level with risk. It then recommends appropriate investments and archives data. These steps are typically labor-intensive and subject to human error. Qandil noted that the app could help broker-dealers avoid costly fines from financial regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) while protecting investors.
John Lopez 2L Evening demonstrated his Eviction Case Management Dashboard, which helps housing lawyers track their clients’ eviction cases and avoid missing critical deadlines. Lopez noted that the pandemic has led to a rise in eviction cases, overburdening the system. His app generates to-do lists for each client, automates certain administrative steps, and tracks client progress by case.
Professor Shadab said that NYLS is focused on providing a research and development pipeline for legaltech software and on forging partnerships with other legal technologists. He also noted that students’ strategic approach for apps draws from their work in courses like Commercial Transactions, Financial Services Law, and Business Planning: Start-Up Business and Venture Capital, as well as their experience in business externships.
“It’s a very exciting time to be a law student and to combine law and technology,” Professor Shadab said. “I’m privileged to work with such amazing students.”
Microsoft’s Barnwell concluded the session by recognizing the importance of the students’ work: “I think the future is brighter because of what you are doing. Go forth and be great. Know that we’re all behind you.”