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Innovative AI App “Privity” Triumphs at Hofstra Law Tournament

At the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University’s prestigious National Legal Innovation Tournament, a cutting-edge AI-powered application named Privity garnered top accolades, showcasing the potential for technology to demystify complex legal language.

Florida State University College of Law students, Paul DeCoste and Raymond Betancourt, returned to the tournament after falling short in the previous year. Undeterred, they refined their technology and came back stronger. Their creation, Privity, represents a significant leap in legal tech, employing artificial intelligence to translate dense legal jargon into accessible language for the layperson.

Privity: A Legal Translator for the Uninitiated

Privity is ingeniously designed to parse through and simplify intricate legal documents. Leveraging the power of AI, it targets individuals and small businesses who often lack the resources to keep attorneys on retainer. “These are mainly people who have a hard time finding lawyers,” Betancourt remarked, emphasizing the app’s potential to level the legal playing field.

In a novel approach to user acquisition, Privity’s developers employ court database scraping techniques to identify new lawsuit filings. Through this, they can deploy targeted advertisements, notifying defendants of legal actions against them—possibly even before official notifications are received. The app also recommends attorneys tailored to the specifics of their legal challenges.

Tournament Highlights Innovation in Dispute Resolution

Held virtually on October 13, the third annual tournament featured nine teams, comprising both law and engineering students. The event was under the patronage of esteemed institutions such as JAMS, the American Arbitration Association, and the New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section.

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A panel of distinguished judges presided over the final round, including Karen Milton, former circuit executive for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Ashira Ostrow, a Hofstra Law professor specializing in real estate and land use law. They were joined by Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the Appellate Division, First Department, and Christine Sisario, New York’s director of technology for Court Administration.

“The beauty of the Innovation Tournament is that there is no limit to what problem a student would like to solve, and it is terrific to watch their creative juices at work,” stated Mark Berman, a tournament co-founder and notable figure in legal technology advocacy. Berman’s sentiments underscored the significant impact such innovative tools can have on the future of legal practice.

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