Tips & Tricks | A Must Read!

Tips & Tricks | A Must Read!

Global Legal Hackathon Tips for Participants and Teams

Before the event:

Study Margaret Hagen’s terrific resources for design thinking in the legal industry:

  •       Review the judging rubric for the Global Legal Hackathon > Rubric <
  •       Make a list of legal industry problems that are on your mind.
  •       Set a goal to have a fantastic weekend, no matter what. This is a voluntary event, run by volunteer organizers. It’s up to the participants and teams to make it great.
  •       Always remember that this is a unique opportunity to challenge yourself and learn, in a no-consequences environment. Push yourself to try new things and learn new things. Don’t just create a great project. Extend and enhance your own experiences and abilities.

Day of the event – opening reception:

  •       Bring lots of business cards.
  •       Meet as many people as possible at the opening reception.
  •       Know what you’re looking for. Do you have an idea that you want to pursue? Are you looking for potential team members? Do you need software developers? Designers? Or are you looking for a great idea and a team to join?
  •       Get creative. If you discover that your idea is similar to another idea, consider joining forces.

Once your team has formed:

  •       Appoint a single team leader/project manager
  •       Name your team or project
  •       Collect the names, emails, and phone numbers of everyone on your team and circulate them to all team members at the beginning.
  •       Create a shared folder for all team materials (i.e. Google Drive)
  •       Clearly define the problem you are trying to solve. Simple is better. You only have the weekend to create your solution. [note that this can evolve during the course of the weekend – it is typical for this to evolve as you get feedback from users and prospective clients]
  •       Review the judging rubric for the Global Legal Hackathon again.
  •       Set your goals for the weekend. Be specific. What will you present to the judges on the last day? [examples: working prototype, simulated prototype, wireframe mockups, presentation, etc.] Time management is critical, and you need to plan your end result before allocating tasks to achieve that end result. Note that teams rarely have all of the competencies necessary for a “perfect” project. That’s okay. Make the most of what you have and who you have. Embrace the constraints that you face – they force creativity…and innovation!
  •       Plan to get feedback from users and stakeholders. More is better. Get it by email. Get it by personal interviews on the street. Get it by phone. Get it by video (and record the video). Get it via social media. Don’t be shy! One of the most important components of the GLH competition is validating your idea (and proving the validation).
  •       Don’t focus too much time on the business model or financial projections, beyond the very basics. It’s more important to create something, build something, confirm “product market fit” – and then present it in a compelling way.
  •       If you notice that your team is getting bogged down with some aspect of the project, that may be valuable feedback that you need to simplify or adjust the project.
  •       You only have five minutes to present your project during judging, and there will be a hard stop at five minutes, even if you’re not finished. Five minutes for your final presentation isn’t very much time. Practice your presentation while timing it, and try to fit it into four or four and a half minutes. Our experience is that most presenters end up taking more time than they expect during the live presentations to the judges (especially people in the legal industry!)