Legal Innovation Tournament To Highlight Apps Designed to Help the Underrepresented and Improve Access to Justice

By Brandon Vogel

Device with Apps

Underserved members of the public could resolve their everyday legal matters more effectively and efficiently through apps developed by law students across New York.

That’s the theory behind the Legal Innovation Tournament, which is being sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, Hofstra’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. It will be held virtually Jan. 11 to 12.

“The power of technology is greater than ever as is the need for improved access to justice during this time. Dispute resolution is a proven way to resolve legal issues more quickly for the public,” said NYSBA President Scott M. Karson (Lamb & Barnosky). “We are thrilled to see law students harness their creativity and ingenuity to help the legal profession and the public we serve.”

“The Legal Innovation Tournament is an exciting interdisciplinary opportunity for law students, engineers and legal experts to work together to make a difference,” said Judge Gail Prudenti, dean of Hofstra Law. “Hofstra Law is proud to host a tournament that promotes legal technology and the skills law students will need to be successful lawyers of the future.”

Registrants will work virtually with computer technologists from Hofstra University and legal experts in the fields of dispute resolution and access to justice issues and seasoned litigators. Contestants will compete in two categories: 1) design apps seeking to bridge the justice gap by providing the underserved additional ways to resolve disputes; and 2) propose technology innovations to increase and enhance the use, function and utility of dispute resolution processes. Registrations are due by Dec. 31.

“Technology will determine our future, particularly as we move more towards mobile devices and we need to harness that to help people solve everyday disputes. Law students who understand and master this are well-positioned to help the underrepresented and increase efficiencies in how we deliver legal services,” said Mark A. Berman (Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer), founding chair of the Committee on Technology and the Legal Profession. “

Winning teams in each category will receive $500 courtesy of the Dispute Resolution Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Judges include:

  • Hon. Rolando T. Acosta, Presiding Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department
  • Hon. Dora L. Irizarry, United States District Court Judge, Eastern District of New York
  • Scott Karson, President, New York State Bar Association, and Partner, Lamb & Barnosky, LLP
  • Judge Gail Prudenti, Dean, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
  • Dr. Sina Rabbany, Dean and The Jean Nerken Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Professor of Engineering, Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science

For more information, please visit the Tournament website.

About the New York State Bar Association

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Brandon Vogel
[email protected]

Six diverse people sitting holding signs
gradient circle (purple) gradient circle (green)


My NYSBA Account

My NYSBA Account