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Triumph at world's first international legal think tank

17 May 2017
James Dong and Sharon Yin represent the University of Sydney

Congratulations to our two Sydney Law School students who participated in the 2017 Law Without Walls (LWOW) Conposium in April at the University of Miami.

James Dong (Economics/Law), third from right, pictured with the winning team

James Dong (Economics/Law), third from right, pictured with the winning team.

Law Without Walls (LWOW) is the world’s first international legal think tank which aims to accelerate legal innovation in the twenty-first century, through cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. It brings together 100 students from 30 elite law and business schools around the world, including Harvard, Stanford, Peking and Tel Aviv universities with academic, business, entrepreneur, and legal mentors.

Associate Professor Rita Shackel, LWOW Academic Mentor and Lead Adviser, explains that “LWOW is a unique space for law and business students to come together and collaborate, and innovate to solve real world problems facing law and the legal services marketplace. Students are challenged to address legal problems with careful consideration of the ethical, social and business issues at stake. LWOW is a vibrant, creative and practical vehicle for legal education that engages students in high level critical thinking and problem solving.”

This year, James Dong and Sharon Yin were selected to represent the University of Sydney at LWOW, with James’s team taking the prize for overall global winner.

James Dong is a penultimate year Economics/Law student, working as a paralegal at boutique law firm and volunteering at the Marrickville legal centre. James’ team, sponsored by Janders Dean, was given the challenge of utilising the law to improve the lives of refugees. They designed a platform that utilised legal technology to improve access to justice for refugees in Greece. With an inspiring presentation and substantial interest from venture capitalists and law firms, they were voted overall winners.

“The project was important to me, as the refugee crisis continues to worsen day by day” said James “it was really rewarding that my team was able to utilise the law, technology, and business to create a project of worth that advances social justice.”

Sharon Yin (Commerce/Law), far left

Sharon Yin (Commerce/Law), far left

Sharon is a penultimate Commerce/Law student who has worked in business channel marketing as well as social entrepreneurship. Her team looked at how artificial intelligence technology can integrate in-house counsel with the rest of the business. They received great feedback from the industry professionals and academics on the judging panel.

“It was a brilliant learning experience working with a team across cultures and multiple time zones to explore how technology is changing corporate legal processes.” LWOW, Sharon said, is an invaluable opportunity for students to apply the skills they developed studying Law in an innovative and collaborative setting. “Through LWOW, I was able to be part of a broader discussion with individuals from law schools and companies across the world about what modern lawyering will look like in the next decade.”

James says his experience participating in LWOW helped him develop crucial advocacy and technological skills. James hopes that he is able to translate these skills into the ever changing and increasingly demanding legal market.

“LWOW provides participants, the future leaders of law and legal services, with a unique opportunity to develop and harness their technological and business skills, and create strong global networks for the future innovation of law and business” said Dr Shackel.