The Legal Innovation Centre was established in 2016 with the support of key industry stakeholders. A pioneering collaboration between the School of Law and the School of Computing and Intelligent Systems at Ulster University, the Centre promotes and supports innovation in legal services and access to justice.
Innovation is more than just advances in technology — it is the pursuit of improvement. For us, innovation means developing new approaches to design, advancing creative approaches problem-solving and promoting imaginative delivery of legal services and access to justice.
The Legal Innovation Centre at Ulster University brings together research into the application and impact of new legal technology and opportunities for the education and training of current and future lawyers in essential legal tech skills. We seek to innovate in three main ways, by:
- Providing education and training to equip law students and legal professionals with the tools to become active innovators in the legal services market;
- Undertaking research for industry clients, the public sector and the academic community, to explore and better understand how innovation can improve legal service delivery and access to justice; and,
- Engaging in collaborative research and development through partnership with stakeholders in order to capitalise on the benefits of innovative approaches to legal practice.
The Legal Innovation Centre is at the forefront of understanding and facilitating the innovation of legal services. We welcome opportunities for collaboration, partnership and knowledge-exchange, and look forward to working with you to enhance the work of the legal services profession and to promote access to justice.
Legal Innovation Centre staff maintain an online resource for legal innovation. It contains lots of information and news about legal tech.
Ulster University was included, for the first time, in the prestigious Times Higher Education ranking of the top 150 universities under 50 years old. We are a modern and dynamic university, enabling a cohort of almost 27,000 students to meet their personal and professional ambitions. Students at Ulster University are among the most satisfied in the UK according to the 2015 National Student Survey, in which the University achieved 89% on the overall satisfaction score. In addition the 2014 Research Excellence Framework identified Ulster University as one of the top 25% of UK universities for world-leading research, based on research power.
School of Law
Ulster University Law School has world renowned expertise in Human Rights and in Clinical Legal Education, coupled to a developing focus on Legal Technology. It marries a focus on research excellence in an applied sense, with an ethic of providing highly employable skilled graduates. In the most recent UK wide audit of research excellence it placed overall 4th in the UK, and 1st in research 'impact' – a measure of the social significance and value of research undertaken. These results eclipse those of other larger and more resourced Schools. In line with the broader University mission it actively seeks out industry collaboration in order to influence social change in a positive direction.
Faculty of Computing and Engineering
Research in Computer Science and Informatics at Ulster University is carried out within the Computer Science Research Institute (CSRI), established in 2004 as part of Ulster's institutional research strategy. The CSRI currently comprises 45 academic staff, together with research associates and research fellows, and approximately 100 doctoral research students. Within the CSRI, there is a strong emphasis on research output quality, with frequent publication in the leading academic journals and conferences. Much of the research within CSRI is supported by highly competitive awards from external funding bodies. Our funding from the EU Framework 7 programmes also remains well above the UK average for the discipline. The Intelligent Systems Research Centre, ISRC, is a research group within the CSRI. The group was founded in 1997 and is currently composed of 30 academic staff and 28 research students, some of whom are funded directly from industry.
Allen & Overy
The Legal Innovation Centre created a short course for Allen & Overy which centred around legal technology, this was used as an introduction for those who wished to learn more about how the legal profession could benefit from making better use of big data and artificial intelligence.
Baker McKenzie collaborated with the Legal Innovation Centre to explore research opportunities aligned to its technology strategy, including the global rollout of artificial intelligence tools.
Belfast City Council
The Legal Innovation Centre partnered with Belfast City Council to help increase the visibility of Belfast as an innovation hub to bring new businesses to the city. This took the form of working alongside local businesses, the resilience commissioner and the city deals project.
Invest Northern Ireland
As the regional business development agency, Invest NI's role is to grow the local economy. They do this by helping new and existing businesses to compete internationally, and by attracting new investment to Northern Ireland. They are part of the Department for the Economy and provide strong government support for business by effectively delivering the Government’s economic development strategies.