Thompson Rivers University

Law students present legal apps in annual competition

December 15, 2022

The winning team with their faculty member from left to right: Michael Hanuman, Associate Professor Katie Sykes, Ben Turner, Pegah Kenarsari, and competition judges Caroline Nevin and Stephen Pederson.

Human rights in the workplace, sponsors for immigrants and care for pets after their owners die — these were the competing apps in this year’s Battle of the Apps competition for TRU Law upper-year students.

Battle of the Apps is a pitch competition in the Designing Legal Expert Systems course taught by Associate Professor Katie Sykes. The course is an elective in which students create legal apps using a no-code software platform provided by Neota Logic. The focus is to teach law students to tackle legal problems from the point of view of the client or user, and turn complex legal knowledge into accessible, effective solutions.

On December 2, TRU Law held the latest Battle of the Apps competition. This year’s projects were:

  • The Pet Trust app (Andrew Fu and Baljinder Atwal) quickly and easily creates a pet trust document to provide for the care of a beloved pet after the owner passes away.
  • The Immigration Family Sponsorship Guide (Maria Guirgis, Erin Pillipow, Anyssa Plan, Kimia Shiri, and Helan Spindari) is designed to help Canadians who want to sponsor family members immigrating to Canada — with a unique, easy-to-use tool for calculating whether the would-be sponsor meets the government’s minimum income requirements.
  • And the winning team: the BC Human Rights Tribunal Claim Advisor (Ben Turner, Pegah Kenarsari, and Michael Hanuman) is an app that helps employees resolve human rights-related discrimination problems in the workplace.

The students presented their creations to a panel of judges who have legal or tech backgrounds: Caroline Nevin, Stephen Pederson, Tom Spraggs, and Sarah Sutherland.

Watch Battle of the Apps presentations on the TRU Law YouTube page here.

Please note the apps are prototypes built for the purpose of the class only, they are not being updated or maintained after the end of the class, and they should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.

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