LegalX launching legal innovation challenge with Canadian law firm Blakes

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When LegalX launched in June last year, Aron Solomon, innovation lead at MaRS, said that the goal of LegalX is to bring a traditional industry to the 21st century.

“When people around the world think of legal innovation, the number one spot in the world they’re going to think about is LegalX at MaRS,” Solomon said at the time. “We’re here to connect capital, product, ideas and people. It’s gonna be this amazing synergy between all of these things.”

“When people around the world think of legal innovation, the number one spot in the world they’re going to think about is LegalX at MaRS.”

To bring that vision further to reality, LegalX and Blakes — one of Canada’s leading law firms — are launching a global innovation challenge for entrepreneurs, developers, and founders in February. The challenge will last around three to four months with the goal of solving a problem relevant to BigLaw and Blakes. “In Blakes, we expect that the challenge won’t be a narrow one, but will involve a much broader group of technologists – that’s part of what makes this relationship and challenge really exciting,” Solomon said.

By the end of the challenge, a full working solution won’t be necessary, but participants should have a solid proof of concept and the ability to work with LegalX and Blakes to make the concept a reality.

Both parties said that the details of the competition, included prizes and specific challenges, are still being ironed out; but Carla Swansburg, director of professional development at Blakes, expressed that the challenge is an effective way to bring the long-underserved legal industry onto the radars of tech innovators.

“This partnership gives us a chance to have an early view into technology developments that may enhance how we practice, and gives us a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of new developments,” said Swansburg.

“Given the fast pace of change in the practice of law over the past several years, this partnership and the Global Legal Innovation Challenge provides a great platform for us to choose an issue where we know we can enhance efficiency or productivity, and ask the entrepreneur and developer communities to work with us to solve it in a practical way.”

Startups interested in participating in the challenge can get in touch with Solomon via Twitter @aronsolomon and follow #LegalX for the latest news.