Annual Code the Deal Hackathon Leads to Innovative Ideas for Affordable Housing Industry

Nixon Peabody recently sponsored the 2nd Annual Code the Deal Hackathon, a two-day event in which teams of lawyers, developers and designers compete to create functional applications that address issues raised in transactional law, enable lawyers to increase efficiency and client value and even create new ways of transacting. The event, hosted at the UCLA School of Law, attracted over 30 competitors and drew an impressive slate of sponsors, including Hewlett Packard and Kira Systems.
Two specific projects from the Hackathon should be of interest to the affordable housing community. The winning team, comprised of students from Michigan State University's LegalRnd Program, created an application that would allow tenants to scan their leases for outlier clauses and provisions using HP’s Haven OnDemand to extract the provisions. After signing their leases, tenants would then be able to use the application to not only document issues with the condition of their rental units, but also obtain legal advice delivered via a decision tree as to how best to remedy these conditions.
Another group proposed to work with agencies administering low-income housing lotteries and other methods of allocating low-income housing to develop a one-time intake process for potential tenants that would allow eligible tenants to apply for multiple units and/or lotteries with a few clicks—in essence, a Common Application for affordable housing.
Our firm’s involvement in Code the Deal is an important part of our commitment to innovation and emerging technology. Participating in Code the Deal encourages us to look into the future to see how we can adopt new technologies and prepare for what’s ahead. Leveraging our culture of teamwork and collaboration, we encourage the process of bringing ideas forward, building upon them and developing them into beneficial legal solutions and client services. Our innovation initiatives promote entrepreneurial spirit, as everyone at Nixon Peabody contributes to the creation of new services.
“Activities and events, like Code the Deal, that concentrate on advancing our current state—whether in technology, process, or some other area—are exactly the types of opportunities we encourage our attorneys to look for and be a part of,” said Herb Stevens, NP’s Chief Innovation Officer. “It’s thrilling for us as a law firm to be involved in an effort that could help shape the future of our industry.”
For videos, photos and more, visit #codethedealLA and YouTube.
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