Rules and Guidelines

Below is information for #GLH2020


The organizing committee of the Global Legal Hackathon seek to impose as few rules as possible in order to encourage maximum collaboration and innovation, but there are a few important things to make note of to ensure that this global event is a huge success. This article is a basic overview of the rules but is not the GLH Official Rules.

The Global Legal Hackathon Competition Official Rules is posted here here. Attendees must acknowledge acceptance of the rules to participate in the event. 

Official Rules Agreement


In general, teams are free to make the competition their own by developing their own focus – from competitive to purely educational. That said, teams should have an agreed purpose for their participation, to help to guide their activities. Examples include:

  • A group of very tech savvy law school students may choose to organize a “competitive” team in an attempt to progress through the judging rounds. 
  • A team representing an in-house legal department of a company may choose to focus on solving a specific legal operations problem. 
  • A group of teams sponsored by a law firm may invite clients to join the teams in order to work on problems of mutual interest. 
  • A group of students may wish to collaborate with other schools or local organizations in solving access to justice challenges.

Project Scope

Teams must build a solution that fits the solution threads: 

  1. Progressing the business of law; or
  2. Facilitating access to justice 

Forming Teams

This is a real hackathon. It is expected that teams will build working applications, proofs of concept, or prototypes, as well as presentation materials to explain, pitch, and present the application. That being the case, teams will benefit from diversity in skill sets – for example an attorney, an application developer, a graphic designer, a businessperson.

Teams can consist entirely of participants from one organization or can include participants from many organizations. Participants are encouraged to form teams prior to the event to ensure that teams have the requisite skill sets to actually create a legal tech application and the related pitch and presentation materials but all teams must be willing to accept individual participants on the first day of the event. This is to encourage diversity of thought and experience, as well as to include participants who were unable to join a team prior to the start of the weekend.

Teams must arrive at the event having not begun development, though they can have pre-discussed ideas or agreed upon an idea and recruit team members to help develop it over the weekend.

If someone wants people to join their team, they can pitch a 60 second idea to all of the attendees. Here is an example of how a pitch works: Sixty Second Pitch

Joining a Team

Individuals can participate by joining a team prior to the event. In the event that a participant does not join a team prior to the weekend, that attendee can join a team on Friday night after the pitches are complete. 

Team Structure

Teams must consist of a mandatory minimum number of three (3) participants with a suggested maximum of six (6). Ten (10) people is the absolute max.

Preparation Material

Beginning in January, the Global Legal Hackathon will distribute materials to all hosts and registered participants that will include business and technical tutorials, guides, and training. Some hosts, such as law schools and universities, may conduct workshops prior to the event to help their teams to prepare for the weekend.


Host locations are responsible for recruiting a panel of 3-5 judges, that are representative of a wide set of stakeholders. A mix of the following is required:

CIO or Senior Partner of Law Firm Senior Technologist, ideally a CTO of a legal tech solution General Counsel or in-house counsel representative
Government personnel NGO or Non-Profit representative, dealing with legal issue Law School dean or professor
Other (with explanation ) 

*Panel can include a sponsoring company, as long as there is no obvious conflict of interest (e.g. the sponsor also has teams representing the organization).*Panel cannot include more than one representative of a single stakeholder group or organization.

Judging Rubric

The judging rubric takes into account three factors: (Host cities can modify the standard rubric, please contact host for details.)

  1. User validation
  2. Solution design and implementation
  3. The business model

Local Hosts

Host hubs can tailor their local hack to a particular set of problems or threads for solution development, as long as they enable teams to work on problems of their choosing that fit into one of the two threads (i.e., building a solution to progress the business of law or building a solution that facilitates access to justice).

Hosts can make community awards. Though these aren't part of the global rounds, they're a fun way to engage your local community and add an extra layer of inspiration for your participants. Here are some ideas:

  • Pure Innovation - something truly novel and different from existing solutions.
  • Greatest Immediate Impact – a solution that can deliver immediate value and change the world.
  • Best Use of Blockchain –

    blockchains and blockchain coaches will be available to participants

  • Best Use of Artificial Intelligence – AI tools and coaches will be available to participants[M10]
  • Best Law Firm Application – solutions specifically tailored to law firms, how they are managed and how they service clients.
  • Best Corporate In-House Application - solutions specifically tailored to law firms, how they are managed and how they service clients.
  • Best Public Service Application - solutions specifically tailored to facilitate access to justice. 

Competition and Pitching

Below is a general guide of format. Please ask your host for your specific format and schedule.

First Round | Local

The first round of judging will take place at the local level on March 5th. Final pitches and presentations are due to host organizers  on that day (though teams can continue to work on their solutions until presentations begin). Pitching and presentations begin at the discretion of your host. Pitches to local panel of judges will be five minutes, with five minutes to follow for a question period by the judging panel. Local hosts must submit one local winner to the global organizing committee by 11:59pm March 8th local time. 

Team Project Submission: Submit your project description and team information in the form below. This information allows the GLH to contact participants and winners for future rounds. 

Team Project Submission Form

Second Round | Global

Winning teams from the first round have until 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on March 22, 2020 to submit their project, application, and supporting presentation to the global judging panel of the Global Legal Hackathon.

Teams are permitted to improve upon their winning entry during the period between rounds but should not change the primary purpose or functionality of the winning application.

Judging will be done online.

Finalists will be invited to the final round gala. Teams are encouraged to work on their solutions up until the start of the event. Teams are responsible for expenses associated with attending the Final Round. GLH will provide a stipend to each team for travel, but the stipend will unlikely cover all expenses. Hosts and Finalist Teams may work with sponsors for additional financial support, but this is not required.

Final Round | Announcement of Global Winners

The global finalists will pitch to judges live at the Final Round Gala on May 16, 2020 in London UK and winners will be announced that night.