March 2, 2023 4:27 pm Published by

In partnership with The Innovation Village and The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the first Future Lawyer Week, to be held on the African continent was such a success! With over 200 legal tech enthusiasts gracing us with their inquisitiveness, creativity and innovative perspective, we can’t wait to see how they change the legal ecosystem! Keep reading to find out the highlights of the conference, check out the photos and how to get involved with other Future Lawyer Weeks across the world. 

In August 2022, Cosmonauts and The Innovation Village of Kampala joined forces to bring the legendary legal tech conference, Future Lawyer Week (FLW), to the deserving community of Uganda, but more broadly, Africa! With a focus on improving access to justice, the conference provided ample opportunities for discussion and collaboration on some of the most pressing topics hitting the region. 

We would like to thank all of the amazing attendees of the first FLW Africa who made it such a triumph! From the innovators to the speakers, the mentors at the hackathon to the sponsors, we are incredibly grateful for everyone who contributed to such an inspiring week. The enthusiasm, passion and knowledge that everyone brought to the event was truly inspiring and we are humbled to have been part of such an amazing experience.

If this sounds like a conference for you, then make sure you don’t miss out next year – pre register today to sit amongst incredible innovators in the local community! 

Summary of where the event was, when it took place, following by 3 – 5 ‘top moments’

As an event that celebrates and promotes the intersection of the profession of law and technology in Africa, FLW was a week-long celebration filled with inspiring lectures and panel discussions, networking events, workshops, and career-building opportunities. This year’s FLW Africa gave participants the chance to engage with some of the most influential lawyers in African countries, learn from experienced practitioners, and network with legal professionals from across the continent. 

Day 1 – Tour of The Innovation Village 

The first day of FLW Africa consisted of a tour of The Innovation Village and their Legal Tech and Future Labs! The space that the Village has curated is a wonderfully creative environment for individuals to collaborate and develop their innovations. If you’re interested in securing some space at the Village, click the button below to speak to Hellen Mukasa, Legal Lead at The Innovation Village.

Day 2 – Access to Justice Hackathon

In Partnership with The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Access to Justice Hackathon was incredible! Having been joined by justice innovators, tech enthusiasts and developers ready to participate, with the end goal of developing practical tech-enabled solutions to bridge the access to justice gap in Uganda, the solutions that came from this session were truly industry changing and life changing! 

In her opening remarks, Hellen Mukasa, LegalTech Lab Lead,  said that the hackathon intends to address key pressing challenges in the justice ecosystem in the thematic areas of:

·        Public Sector Accountability

·        Legal Services and Legal Aid

·        Information Dissemination & Education

Together with the UNODC – regional office for Eastern Africa we believe that these digitally driven challenges are instrumental in driving innovation, collaboration and creativity among young people to share ideas and build solutions with a fresh perspective to tackle real issues affecting the justice sector.

Day 3 – Future Lawyer Week Africa Conference

With panels, presentations and roundtables discussing topics like best practices in leveraging and adopting tech, digital transformation considerations, lawtech valuations, key skills of a ‘Future Lawyer’ and much more, there was enough to get your teeth stuck into! With a focus on promoting access to justice, FLW Africa provided an invaluable experience for all participants.

Having covered three days, FLW Africa was a spectacle of excellence – let’s recap our three top highlights! 

1. Access to Justice Hackathon – Nine teams worked together to draw on their experience and expertise, producing remarkable ideas in a single afternoon! Although three teams were given a special mention by the panel of judges, Justice Chap Chap was awarded the winning title, having developed an anonymous witness protection application for sexual assault victims, which also has the potential to support those falsely accused. Rather than constructing the app from the ground up, the team opted to use pre-existing USSD text services to enable them to tackle a global problem. This demonstrates that, when focused on the desired outcome, it is possible to generate meaningful innovation without overcomplicating the process. The team was particularly inspired by the prevalence of sexual assault in Uganda, and the need to offer victims support. This urgency was highlighted by one of the judges, who had witnessed a rape just days prior. Thus, it is imperative to to support those affected by such a stigmatized issue. 

2. Justice David Wangutusi’s keynote address – Justice David Wangutusi emphasized the need of young lawyers to harness digital tools such as video conferencing, e-filing, case management systems and data analytics to reduce delays in legal proceedings, access case-related information or precedent, analyze data to identify areas of concern and take corrective actions to prevent wrongful conviction. 

3. Roundtable discussions -Roundtable discussions have proven to be an effective method for concluding a Cosmonauts show. Participants and speakers have the chance to converse on relevant matters, such as law tech valuations, essential abilities for a new lawyer, legal tech trends and forecasts, and more. This provides an ideal opportunity to further explore these topics and work with others in the group.

If you weren’t lucky enough to join us in sunny Kampala, or even if you did and want to rewatch the day, check out our YouTube playlist for the live stream from the event! 

Pre-register CTA, and a link to other upcoming events

Although FLW Africa 1.0 is over, we’re sure that we’ll be back in Africa in no time! To stay up to date with future editions, make sure you pre register today! 

If you’re a social person – why not follow the LinkedIn page for more exclusive content, deals and the event photos!!!

But if 2024 sounds too far away, we have a whole host for Legal Tech and Innovation conferences set for 2023! Check out our other FLW conferences, or what about a Legal Innovator show! Read more about our events on our website! 

Again, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who participated in the inaugural event, Future Lawyer Week Africa. It was an extraordinary experience and the Cosmonauts team cannot wait to do it all over again!

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