On January 19th- 21st, Michigan State University (MSU) will be hosting its fourth annual student-run hackathon, SpartaHack IV. Spartahack is focused on bringing students across different disciplines together and giving them a platform to realize and harness their own fresh ideas. A hackathon is a perfect setting for discovery, where participants have the opportunity to get to know each other better, take on new roles, and utilize material that they are being taught in the classroom.
What is a Hackathon?
A hackathon is an event, typically lasting 24-48 hours, in which a large number of people (computer science students, student programmers, student data scientists, student project managers, business students, and law students) meet to engage in competitive collaborative purpose of achieving a potential solution for a specific set of challenges. The goals involve solving some kind of problem or challenge submitted by a ‘sponsor,’ usually an organization. Teams that create the most meaningful and innovative solutions under the specific judging criteria are awarded prizes from the sponsor.
At Spartahack, around 500 engineers, designers, law students, business students, and etc will get together to come up with something cool, useful, and amazing. The only condition is that students will have only 36 hours to work on their projects. Teams with the best ideas have the chance to win over 34 prizes, amounting to $20,443 in prize value.
Why Should Law Students Attend Hackathons?
Law students are given an opportunity to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to innovate the law or solve a set of legal problems. This allows law student to be in the trenches with programmers and coders who are responsible for developing the technology and other solutions for the issues being presented. Law students are given the chance to actively listen to the solutions proposed and brainstorming that occurs between the sponsors and the other students. Law students can learn to think like the programmers and coders. Hackathons allow for law students to improve their legal process and/or make the law more accessible to clients through the creation of user-friendly mobile apps, web platforms, interactive databases, or etc.
“A hackathon event can help an attorney better understand where the future of the profession is heading by allowing them to take an active role in developing technologies that improve access to justice. Rather than being told ‘this is the new technology, just use it,’ attorneys can play a key part in shaping the new technology.”-Franklin Graves
– Participation is limited to students who have been enrolled in the past year.
– Teams can have a maximum of 4 members.
– All team members must be registered SpartaHack attendees.
– All team members must be physically present at SpartaHack.