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2016 Iron Tech Lawyer: Linking Technology, Access to Justice

April 29, 2016 —

At Georgetown Law’s Iron Tech Lawyer Competition on April 27, eight student teams unveiled eight new legal expert systems developed in their Technology, Innovation and Access to the Civil Justice System class. Students worked with legal service providers and public interest law organizations in Washington, D.C. and across the country to help solve a particular access to justice problem — such as navigating a court system or determining eligibility for a benefit. Professors Tanina Rostain, Mark O’Brien and Kevin Mulcahy taught the students about the justice gap, developed the projects, supplied the technological know-how and supervised the teams’ work.

Jennifer Llano (L’17), Arvind Miriyala (L’17), Taryn Smith (L’17) and Lauren Wiefels (L’17) won best Iron Tech Lawyer 2016 for “iHeal,” an app developed for the National Immigration Law Center that will help low-income immigrant and mixed citizenship status families determine health care coverage eligibility.

Jason Dupree (L’16), Jenadee Nanini (L’17) and Tara Ganapathy (C’12, L’16) won Excellence in Design for an app to help juveniles seal their criminal records and start over; “New Beginnings” was developed for Georgetown Law’s own Juvenile Justice Clinic. 

The Social Media Award, determined by popular vote, went to “Navigator’s Compass,” an app designed by Emma Elliott (L’17), Eric Fischer (L’16) and Chris Harlem (L’17) with Pro Bono Net to help tenants successfully find their way through housing court. 

Honorable Mention went to the “App App,” which will help pro se litigants appealing a case to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Celia Belmonte (C’13, L’16), Elizabeth Woods (L’17) and Rita Hazlett (L’16) designed their project in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Bar’s Appellate Practice Section.

Georgetown Law Professor Paul Ohm, Dean Garfield of the Information Technology Industry Council and James Sandman of the Legal Services Corporation served as this year’s judges. Dean William M. Treanor, who introduced the competition, noted that Iron Tech has become a showcase of Georgetown Law since it was launched by Rostain in 2012. “It teaches students the technology skills that are increasingly important to the practice of law in the 21st century…” Treanor said. “And when the apps are released, they will have a significant impact in closing the justice gap.”

For more information on the Iron Tech Lawyer Competition, click here. 

 

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