Microsoft Corp. and the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP are the Seattle hosts for a worldwide, 54-hour sprint of legal tech education, creativity, and invention.

Called the Global Legal Hackathon, the first-ever event will draw multi-disciplinary teams from around the globe. Together they’ll seek to rapidly develop and deploy automation and technology solutions that address two primary goals:

  • increasing access to justice and improving legal/judicial systems;
  • addressing pain-points in the private practice of law or legal operations.

Seattle-based teams will collaborate onsite at Microsoft’s corporate campus and be connected to event participants in dozens of other cities by live streaming, social media, and the event’s website and dedicated app. The event launches Friday, February 23.

"The Global Legal Hackathon isn’t just for lawyers," says Amanda Brown, a local organizer of the event and an American Bar Association fellow at Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters, where she works on a cloud-based project to improve access to civil legal aid. “Successful teams will have a broad range of viewpoints, including attorneys, engineers, designers, marketers, businesspeople, and more.”

"This is a time of extraordinary need and opportunity in the world of legal services," said Barbara Kunkel, Seattle-based chief information officer at Davis Wright Tremaine. "Technology is making possible some long-overdue improvements in how law firms and clients work together. And it’s providing new tools to meet the ongoing challenge of connecting our fellow citizens with the legal help that can make such a difference in their lives. I am very grateful to Microsoft for their partnership in this effort and eager to see the outcome of this unprecedented event."

One winning team from each local hackathon will be invited to participate in a second round of judging, which takes place March 11. The top teams in each category will be invited to an awards banquet in New York City April 21, where the global winners will be announced. Categories include:

  • Best Law Firm Application
  • Most Global Impact on Access to Justice
  • Most Innovative
  • Greatest Immediate Impact
  • Best Use of Blockchain
  • Best Corp. In-House Application
  • Best Use of Artificial Intelligence
  • Best Public Service Application

For more information about the free event, and to register, go to

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Davis Wright Tremaine
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (@DWTLaw) is a national law firm with more than 550 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world.