First year law student ‘disrupts’ legal industry

Griffith Law student Ethan Hall-Barr is part of the 2018 Disrupting Law winning team

A team of university students, which includes Griffith Law student Ethan Barr-Hamilton, have pitched their award-winning idea to senior lawyers at law firm McCullough Robertson.

The Disrupting Law competition pairs teams of students from different universities and diverse fields including IT, law, business and design with pro bono industry mentors, to create an innovative solution to improve legal practice and further access to justice.

‘Cognicity’ won the competition’s overall Legal Innovation Award for ‘conceptualising an assessment aid which assists lawyers in evaluating legal capacity’ according to event sponsor Queensland University of Technology.

It was one team member’s personal experience of a family member with dementia, which shaped and informed their product development, said Ethan.

“Together we expanded upon the idea of cognitive capacity and we went over research into new technology like eye-tracking which can predict diseases through simple medical tests,” he said.

The Legal Forecast, a not-for-profit who organise the competition, have invited Ethan to join their committee as a student representative.

“It’s amazing the opportunities a single event can bring. I’ll be dedicated to promoting and assisting at their events and helping them reach more students on the Gold Coast,” said Ethan.

“Bring a part of the Griffith Law School community has greatly improved my confidence. The lecturers help put us in touch with alumni and industry – that’s how I found out about the competition.”

This caps off a remarkable year for the first year law student, who also won the Griffith University Law Student Association Client Interview Competition, and volunteers at the Robina Community Legal Centre in his spare time.