UM JusTech is Malaysia's first technology society run by law students
As the new semester kicks in, the students of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya (“the Faculty”) will start planning on what clubs and societies to join. This year, there is a new establishment in the Faculty — the University of Malaya JusTech club (UM JusTech). This club is founded by Ms Yeap Yee Lin and Mr Danesh Ram Aggarwal, who are third year and second year students of the Faculty respectively. It is Malaysia’s first technology society run by law students, of which the target is to bridge the gap between law students and technology. It aims to educate and increase awareness among students on the rise of technological advancements and possible legal challenges ahead. With one of the Faculty’s lecturer Ms Nur Husna Zakaria @ Kira as the Academic Advisor, the High Committee Board of UM JusTech consists of Co-founder Ms Yeap Yee Lin as President, Co-founder Mr Danesh Ram Aggarwal as Vice President, Mr Carson Lim Chin Hou as Secretary, and Mr Charles Loo Yong Feng as Treasurer.
Contrary to popular belief, law students do not just drown themselves in books. The method of reading law has shifted from heavy referencing in the library to simple clicks of the mouse button to gain access to legal databases online. This shift in the legal industry has created a demand for graduates with technical skills. CanLaw and EasyLaw are examples of legal technology startups which have garnered significant attention in the legal field as a tool to accelerate the use of technology in law firms and other corporations. As an illustration, CanLaw organises the LexTech Conference, which gathers the best and the brightest of the legal technology community in the ASEAN region for engaging discussions, interactive demos and updates on legal technology trends.
According to Ms Yee Lin, despite the ever-increasing awareness of how important technology is among students, there is a void when it comes to technology-related activities in the Faculty. Some students have expressed their interest in technology, but many of them find it overwhelming to learn the know-how on their own. What prompted her to establish a legal-tech club was looking at the rapid technological developments on which we will miss out if we do not take our chances now. She also added that since the Faculty is Malaysia’s leading law school, the students should take every opportunity to be the pioneers of a new breed of tech-savvy fresh graduates.
Ms Yee Lin does not deny that the newly founded club will face challenges, as there are already multitudes of other popular clubs and societies within the Faculty. However, UM JusTech carries an agenda that differentiates itself from other clubs. Despite technology being uncharted territory in the Faculty, Ms Yee Lin is confident that this unique club will attract those who find an interest in this field.
Ms Yee Lin also shares with us her plans and goals for the club in the upcoming semester. The focal point of the club’s development is the branding of UM JusTech as the first law-student-run technology society in Malaysia. Several events for the 2018/2019 academic year has been planned already, including “Tech Tuesday”, which is a monthly community meet-up in a laid-back environment.
“We will invite experts to give a 30-minute talk about a certain area of technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI). We will also spice up the event by inviting start-ups to pitch to students how they are implementing technology in their course of work.”
UM JusTech is currently setting up a website where news regarding its activities will be published to the public, and there will also be an issuance of its own legal technology newsletter each semester. Other than that, a short informative video series called “TechBytes Friday” will be released on its social media platforms to update its followers on the latest developments in legal technology. The club is currently in the process of liaising with the University of Malaya’s App club for future collaboration to organise the Legal Techies Code Camp, which is a computer programming series for law students held on weekends.
Ms Yee Lin hopes that in the next five years, UM JusTech will be the leading platform for discussions of law-technology issues not only among students, but also professionals. The club will expand its horizon by engaging with the professional technology community outside the University of Malaya to discuss about the merging of law and technology.
In summary, there are three main reasons why the students of the Faculty should be a part of UM JusTech: First, the members shall have access to training and networking opportunities among technology experts in the industry. Second, the members shall be able to enhance their knowledge of the law with the aid of the latest technology. Third, the members have a voice in the revolutionary journey to increase the public’s awareness of the role technology plays in the legal community.
For those who are interested, UM JusTech is looking for potential board members to join their small-but-growing family. The club is recruiting members for its four teams, namely the Creative & Design Team, the Content Curation Team, the Publicity and External Relations Team, and the Event Management and Logistics Team.
If you want to have a hands-on experience in this fusion of law and technology, then this club is the perfect platform for you to equip yourselves with the X-factor that separates you from conventional graduates.
For more information on this groundbreaking society, you may visit its Facebook page at UM JusTech. The UM JusTech League is open for recruitment until 18 September 2018 (10pm), so sign up before it is too late!