how do I enter the challenge?

Interested participants can fill out this form to express interest, stay up to date, and receive a notification when the submission platform goes live!

what are the eligibility criteria for participating in the challenge?

Any current law student of a participating ABA accredited institution can participate in the Justice Innovation Challenge individually or as part of a team (with a maximum of four members per team). Each team leader must be a current law student. The rest of the team members can be from any walk of life (i.e. belong to the same institute OR another participating institute or another non-participating institute, or not be a student at all).

Can I submit a solution that I developed as a part of a law school course?

To avoid an unfair advantage to other participants, developed solutions that have been graded as a part of a law school credited course are ineligible to be submitted. However, those law students can still participate in the challenge by submitting a solution not involved with the graded course. Solutions developed at a recent or upcoming hackathon event are eligible to be submitted in the challenge.

Can I participate as an individual?

Yes, you can participate as an individual or on a team of up to four members.

what are the dates of the challenge?

The challenge is open from April 15 to July 19, 2019 (both days inclusive). If there is any extension of the deadline, it will be called out on the contest website.

what are the themes of the challenge?

Participants can work individually or in teams on self-generated innovation projects, resulting in initiatives that can directly benefit and in collaboration with a sponsoring non-profit legal services organization. Projects should be aimed to help low-income individuals who need legal support and other resource help for problems such as domestic violence, consumer debt, evictions, business entity formation, foreclosures and access to government benefits.

what are the prizes for the challenge?

First Place (1) $15,000

Second Place (1) $10,000

Third Place (1) $5,000

what is the selection procedure for the challenge?

There are two stages in the Justice Innovation Challenge selection process.

  1. Semi-finalist -Members of the selection team will evaluate applications and select finalists on a rolling basis. We will communicate our decision via email approximately two weeks from the date the application is submitted.

  2. Finalist- The virtual pitch event is limited to 10 teams, which will be selected from the pool of registrants by an esteemed panel of judges. A member of the selection team will schedule a phone call with finalists to discuss the application.

what are the criteria on which my idea will be evaluated?

Judging will be based on the following screening criteria: 


  • Is the project likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future?

  • Will the project inspire or inform others?


  • Inclusive: meaningfully engaging key stakeholders and community members - thoughtfully identifying those needed to create the intended change and, whenever possible, including those directly affected by the problem.

  • Collaborative: a true joint effort, with partners willing to share ownership and decision-making as they pursue an innovation together.

  • Resourceful: using existing resources and assets creatively to make the most of what a community already has.


  • Is the project plan thoughtful, realistic and does it address the identified community need?

  • Does the applicant have the capacity to execute the work effectively or have a plan to meet the needed capacity?

do i need to have a working prototype of my idea?

No, just an idea relevant to the chosen themes is sufficient to participate. However, submissions that comprise of working prototypes are more likely to advance to the final round. If you do have a working prototype, then share relevant information about it when submitting your entry.

are multiple entries allowed from the same team?

No, multiple entries are not allowed from the same team.

can students from different law schools be apart of the same team?

Yes, students from multiple law schools can be grouped into a single team.

will i be allowed to edit my entry after i submit it?

Yes, you will be able to edit your entry after you submit it up until the deadline on July 19, 2019. So make sure you fill in all pertinent details about your team and innovation before you click ‘Submit’. In case you miss out on any detail, then submit one more entry with the same innovation name. We will consider the latest submission for screening.

will the access to justice tech fellows program or lsac use my solution anywhere?

The intellectual property of the idea remains with the participant. LSAC and the Access to Justice Tech Fellows program have the right to publicize the entries submitted in the challenge.

will the access to justice tech fellows program or lsac fund my innovation beyond the stipulated prizes?

We cannot commit to any additional funding at this point in time. However, we can point you to resources and additional opportunities to help you further develop your solution.

How do I stay updated on the challenge?

Stay updated on the Challenge through our Slack group. Register through the interest form to obtain access to the Slack group.

What if I dont have an idea? What do i do?

Click on Project Ideas on the How to Prepare section on the Challenge website. You can view all the innovations that were shortlisted for the grand finale last year.

You can drop a message in the Slack group or email us with your questions at