'CoLin', a digital system designed to help people understand their legal problems and connect them with appropriate help such as local solicitors, has powered through to victory at the online courts hackathon run by Legal Geek and HM Courts and Tribunals (HMCTS).
CoLin - an acronym of 'courts online' - was the product of a joint team from the Law Society of England and Wales and legal tech firm Wavelength Law. It was designed during the 24-hour competition which brought together legal and technological expertise to design solutions for aspects of the HMCTS online courts project.
"One of the exciting possibilities that technology offers is helping those who need legal advice to understand how the law can help them," said Law Society director of legal and regulatory policy Sophia Adams Bhatti, who was part of the Law Society-Wavelength team.
"CoLin is designed to let people have a conversation, as if talking to a knowledgeable friend, and help them get the advice they need to solve their problem."
CoLin is able to generate letters, outlining in easy to understand ways the various steps in a legal process, reminding people when key deadlines are approaching, as well as organising information generated from the user into an electronic bundle for use by a client's advisor and the courts.
"While CoLin is only a proof of concept, it demonstrates the huge potential for this type of technology to improve access to justice," added Sophia Adams Bhatti.
"In the spirit of the hackathon, the way in which we built CoLin will be open source and available for anyone to pick up or take inspiration from. Our goal is to encourage the use of technology to support and enhance the delivery of justice, and hopefully what we have demonstrated is how much can be done, even in such a small amount of time."
Notes to editors
See more information on the Legal Geek hackathon.
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