• Neeharika Maddula

Law Without Walls: Changing legal practice as we know it


Earlier this year, University of Sydney law students Claudia Sheridan and Sandra Hu travelled to Madrid to work on innovative solutions to the biggest problems facing the legal profession. Survive Law spoke to the team to find out more about their experiences.

1. What is LWOW and how did you get involved?

Law Without Walls is a global collaboration of top law and business schools pioneered by the University of Miami. It aims to find innovative solutions to problems in the legal marketplace. The program teams students from different universities with legal, entrepreneurial and academic mentors. Over the course of four months, teams identify a problem in legal practice or education and create a "Project of Worth" - a prototype and business plan for a legal start-up that solves that problem. The four-month program begins with a KickOff conference held at a host university in Europe, and concludes at the ComPosium conference in Miami where teams present their business plans to a panel of legal professionals, academics and venture capitalists. The winning team is provided with support to incubate their idea.

The University of Sydney is represented by two students from the law faculty every year and Sandra Hu and I were fortunate enough to be selected as this year's representatives. We are extremely grateful to have received support from King & Wood Mallesons to fund our travel expenses to Madrid and also for our trip to the ComPosium in April. In particular, we would like to thank Michelle Mahoney, Executive Director of Innovation, for recognising the value of the program and facilitating our sponsorship.

2. So you went to Madrid! What did you get up to there?

We travelled to Madrid to participate in the KickOff conference earlier this year at IE University. Each year the KickOff is hosted at a different partner university in Europe, and consists of an intensive two days of interactive exercises to foster idea generation, teamwork, self-assessment, presentation and communication skills. Most importantly, the KickOff gave us the opportunity to meet a diverse group of students, teammates and mentors in person. In between our conference activities we explored the sights of Madrid, and had a great time getting to know our fellow participants over tapas. We've set up a blog to record our experiences with LWOW which can be found here.

3. What was the highlight of the trip?

The KickOff was an amazing educational opportunity which transformed our perspectives on legal education and practice. As law students we mostly learn to apply our knowledge in hypothetical settings. LWOW is a rare opportunity to use our knowledge creatively and solve real problems in the legal marketplace. At the KickOff we were fortunate enough to be exposed to a global network of accomplished, diverse individuals who are dedicated to innovation in the legal profession. Aside from the educational benefits, the highlight of our experience was meeting like-minded students from every corner of the world.

4. What would your advice be to law students interested in LWOW or similar opportunities.

The University of Sydney and Griffith University are currently the only Australian participating universities. We came across the opportunity through our faculty newsletter so we;d advise other students to keep up to date with university publications.

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