Master of Criminology student, Charlotte Hanson and her team have been awarded ‘best idea’ at the 2020 LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) initiative – a virtual experiential program designed to address real-life challenges faced by legal education and the profession.
Sydney law student Charlotte Hanson was selected to attend LWOW 2020, a program organised by Miami Law School. It brings together students from 20 law and business schools around the world with business professionals to create innovative solutions to contemporary problems involving law, business and technology.
Professor Rita Shackel, Sydney Law School said: “For almost a decade, our talented students have participated in LWOW alongside peers from around the world to explore, challenge and innovate. LWOW has pushed our students to think beyond the ordinary and with new vision. The program allows future and current leaders to collaborate and incubate novel ideas to solve pressing legal, social and business dilemmas. This initiative has opened up new horizons and opportunities for many of our students.”
Over four months, competing teams met virtually to come up with a ‘project of worth’ addressing a social justice problem, with topics ranging from criminality and pro-bono to carbon footprints and the environment.
The ‘best idea’ winning team included mentor, Samir Patel (Holland & Knight, USA) and Charlotte’s teammates: Kofi Assante (Bucerius University, Germany) and Tessa Schembri (University College London, UK), who tackled the topic of diversity and inclusion in e-sports - a form of sport competition using video games.
“Our topic addressed the need for e-sports to be more inclusive and enable more diverse players. We came up with a tagline Safe space, Safe place, Safe Gaming and created the Co-Op E-sports Foundation, as our project of worth. A safe space for female e-sports players, by devising a toolbox of resources which promote diversity and inclusion. The foundation gives support to players that have suffered harassment and gender hostility. It will solve the industry’s gender pipeline problem and shape the future of the industry through establishing best practice techniques.”
I was happy to be in the team that won the ‘best idea’, which addressed diversity and inclusion in e-sports. After months of hard work, all team members were in different parts of the globe, coping with time zones, projects, presentations, research and the pandemic.
The experience has enabled Charlotte to upskill and to help prepare her for life after graduation.
“LWOW has given me tools to work in diverse teams, globally, virtually and in person! This experience has encouraged me to think more about innovation in the new style of workplace, brought about by the pandemic. It was great for learning new technology and teamwork dynamics and strategies. I am more open to vast opportunities than before, and more confident of taking hold of the opportunities whilst there.”
Professor Rita Shackel said: “Students don’t really know what to expect when they are selected to participate in LWOW but from the outset they have a very strong sense of excitement and curiosity about the program. Every year some of our most talented students open themselves up to the LWOW challenge and community."
"The program is strenuous in its workload and expects the best from every student. There is no doubt that LWOW catapults participants into unchartered waters demanding from every team and participant their all. Many LWOW participants have described the program as a game-changer opening up previously unimagined directions and opportunities. Every LWOW participant is a winner but Charlotte and her team showed themselves to be the most outstanding this year, in generating new ideas. This is a very fine achievement.”
Participants will unite again in a sprint challenge later this year. “We have all been assigned to different teams, with a new ‘project of worth’, which we do not know the topic yet. The LWOW sprint challenge is meant to be in person at the Miami School of Law, in a two-day challenge in October. So far it has been virtual, potentially, due to the pandemic it may remain virtual or be deferred,” said Charlotte.
“This new team has been sponsored by White & Case law firm. The new team consists of participants from Barbados, Miami, UK, Sydney, Brazil, Chile, Turkey and Cyprus.”
Now in its 10th year, LawWithoutWalls consists of over 2000 legal and business professionals, academics, entrepreneurs and law and business schools from around the world who share a commitment to staying relevant, playing an active part in the future of our profession, and being part of a “without walls” community designed to create long lasting meaningful impact on participants individually and collectively.