Transforming the future of law and business

19 February 2019
Global innovation program breaks down barriers to re-imagine law – without walls
Sydney Law School students Sarah Bartrim and Cherie Chen have teamed up with industry partners and students from around the world to address contemporary legal issues facing global business today.
Sarah Batrim and Cherie Chen

L-R: Sarah Batrim and Cherie Chen


LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) is an international, experiential learning program at the intersection of law, business and technology. The program aims to equip aspiring lawyers to be innovators and creative problem solvers, with the business mindset and communication skills to tackle multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted problems.

Over 16 weeks, teams - comprising of a mix of students and law and business professionals acting as mentors - work together to co-create a ‘Project of Worth’: a business case and actionable solution to a real problem sponsored by a corporate legal department, law company or law firm.

“Legal education should prioritise learning that grows independent critical thinkers that are agile, culturally aware and discerning in their approach to understanding and engaging with law and the marketplace in a professional and ethically responsible way," said Professor Rita Shackel, Sydney Law School Faculty Lead and LWOW Academic Mentor.

“LWOW brings together today’s leaders with future leaders to innovate collaboratively to solve problems facing legal education and the legal profession for the benefit of whole communities, the marketplace and for greater access to justice and legal services,” she added. “It is a tremendous opportunity for our talented students, not only to grow their own skillset, but also to engage in work with real-world impact.”

LawWithoutWalls Kick Off

LawWithoutWalls Kick Off

The event kicked-off earlier this year in Segovia, Spain. Following the launch, teams began working in a virtual capacity to prepare their projects for the final pitch, set to take place in April at the Miami Law School.

“My experience with LWOW thus far has been incredibly positive,” said Sarah, who is currently studying a Master of Laws. “In Segovia, I met people from all over the world; both students and legal professionals. Over the next couple of months, I am looking forward to working and collaborating with my international, multidisciplinary team. Not only are we given the opportunity to have real-world impact, but to do so with mentors of this calibre is an invaluable experience.”

Sarah’s team is being supported by Accenture, a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Sarah’s team is tasked with looking at “Waste Not, Want Change: How can advances in technology further a reduction in food waste?” Her team comprises of an LLB student from Deakin University, Melbourne and a JD student from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, along with the team leaders from Accenture’s global offices, two alumni advisors and five other mentors from various organisations, including the COO of and a U.S. District Court Judge.

Taking on an entirely different challenge, Cherie, current Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Economics student, is working with her team to investigate how payment providers can collaborate with new market entrants, such as fintech startups, to navigate regulations and drive industry transformation. 

Supported by international law firm, Pinsent Masons, a market leader in legal innovation, the team consists of students from University College London and Universidad Austral. They are being supported by experts and mentors from various organisations, including Visa, Pinsent Masons, William Fry and Cambridge University's MBA Program.

“My experience has been extraordinary so far. As someone with aspirations to work in an international law firm with far-reaching impact, I believe that LawWithoutWalls will definitely set a strong foundation for me to achieve this by equipping me with the relevant skills, expectations and cultural competencies.”
Cherie Chen

“We have been extremely fortunate to be guided by the Sydney Law School and our Faculty Lead, Professor Rita Shackel, who has been consistently supportive and focused on ensuring that we make the most out of the endless learning opportunities that this remarkable program offers,” she added.

LawWithoutWalls began in 2010, and the University of Sydney was the first Australian law school to take part in the global program. Today, more than 35 law schools from around the world participate, including Harvard, Stanford, UCL, Peking and Tel Aviv universities. Students are selected through a highly rigorous and competitive selection process.

“The graduate marketplace is competitive and we need to develop skillsets that set us apart,” concluded Sarah. “This experience, alongside my degree, is giving me the skills to be creative, innovative, and collaborative across cultures and to engage with and work on developing new legal technology.”

Sarah and Cherie are being sponsored to participate in LWOW by BigHand and Barry.Nilsson..

BigHand provides leading solutions to lawyers of all generations, enabling them to make the transition to the business of law through creative innovations. 

Barry.Nilsson. is a national law firm with a reputation for leadership in the areas of Insurance & Health Law, Real Estate & Commercial Law, Family Law and Wills & Estates.

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