Expanding Access to Legal Services through Innovation


At least 80 percent of the legal needs of the poor and two-thirds of the legal needs of middle income Americans are not met. Seattle University's Social Justice Hackathon will unite the legal and tech communities to create innovative solutions to American access to justice.  

We're looking for projects that seek to eliminate the gap between those who need civil legal services and those who provide legal resources. Participants include developersdesignerslawyerslaw studentsbusiness developers, "idea people", or anything in-between!!  

Teams can work on a project of their own interest or select from any number of problems suggested by our community partners. Ideas of all sorts are accepted, from Web and Mobile Apps to Wearables and Algorithms.    


Friday & Saturday, November 6th – November 7th


  • Doors open at 6:00 pm for registration 
  • Dinner
  • Welcome remarks, team formation, begin hacking
  • Evening Session: mini break out sessions, continue hacking
  • Hacking ends at 12am


  • Doors open at 9am
  • Breakfast, updates
  • Morning session: hacking continues, presentation rehearsals
  • Lunch, Intersession remarks
  • Afternoon session: hacking continues, presentation rehearsals
  • Afternoon: submissions due, demos, judge deliberations, awards
  • Dinner
  • Hackathon ends at 8pm

Winners of the hackathon are invited to present at demo night on a date to be decided. Others are welcome to catch demos of other social justice concepts and mingle, network, eat & drink!


Sullivan Hall Lower Level Seattle University School of Law 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122


Open community of lawyers, legal aid providers, social activist, law students, developers, product managers, project managers, entrepreners, designers along with Seattle University, awesome ecosystem founders and amazing sponsors


Take a look at the project list, or submit your own, and join a team on Devpost!

You’ll have 30 min to find an idea and team to join during the Hackathon on Friday after pitches (choose from an existing hack challenge, or your come with your own and find teammates).

Get connected, wi-fi it up, snag a table and start building.

Feel free to lean on Seattle University School of Law alumni & mentors, stay energized on food & drinks, have fun!

Demo and judging will take place Saturday.


To help hackers get to know each other, refine project ideas, and start forming ideas, we’ll split off into breakout groups on Friday evening. We’re inviting experts in these areas to anchor the discussions, point teams toward available resources, and help validate concepts before you get to work. Please note that these are subject to change based on the interests of people at the event and that experts/discussion group leaders may wish to merge with other discussion groups.

View full rules


Winner (3)

Winners of the Social Justice Hackathon will be eligible to present their project at our Demo Day in January. In addition, a direct connection to our sponsors and other free resources will be provided to assist in project development.

Honorable Mention

This team did an excellent job and deserves an honorable mention. Unfortunately, we only have room for three teams in our demo day. This team, along with all participants of the hackathon, are free to contact the SSJH team to get in touch with event sponsors and community partners!

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


You are welcome to join us if you:

  • like to create & make
  • have an interest in increasing the access to legal services for poor and underrepresented communities
  • have an existing project idea
  • have no project ideas
  • want to have fun building awesome social justice projects and solve real problems in our community


 Our community partners have provided a variety of challenges and data on our Hackpad. We'll keep this pad updated throughout the weekend to help you build the best submission possible! In general, any concept, system or application is a valid entry for the Social Justice Hackathon. The most competive challenges will address social justice issues related to the "access to justice gap" and use data found in open source databases (found here).

It may help to check out Nate Aune's "10 Tips for Hackathon Success" here: http://www.appsembler.com/blog/10-tips-for-hackathon-success/

If you have any questions, feel free to ask us online or at the event. We can't wait to see the final submissions!

How to enter

1. Get your ticket

2. Submit your idea here on DevPost

3. Join us Friday & Saturday!


William Covington

William Covington
Professor, University of Washington School of Law

Aurora Martin

Aurora Martin
Director of Columbia Legal Services

Brian Howe

Brian Howe
CEO of Impact Hub

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of Idea
    Does this idea solve a real problem that prevents individuals from receiving access to legal services. Includes creativity and originality of the idea. Applications that are not primarily drawing related will be given preference.
  • Implementation of Idea
    Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer and the extent to which it utilizes the full featue.
  • Accessibility & Sustainability
    How accessible is the application for the audience that is intended to serve.
  • Potential Impact
    Includes the extent to which the application could impact and improve access to legal services.
  • Presentation
    How well did you present?