• About the music city legal hackathon + UNCONFERENCE

    LEGAL + TECH = A2J

    Many thanks to everyone who made the inaugural Music City Legal Hackathon and Unconference such a success! We at Music City Legal Hackers and Code for Nashville are eternally grateful to the sponsors, stakeholders, and 50+ participants! We're leaving the site live for now, as a repository for content from the Hackathon, as well as an example for other legal hackers who are looking for ways to organize similar events. We welcome your queries and interest in future events — please visit Music City Legal Hackers to learn more about what we do!


    The inaugural Music City Legal Hackathon and Unconference brings together lawyers, legal services providers, coders, designers, educators, government officials, and sponsors for a day-long hackathon to create real solutions to real access-to-justice problems in Tennessee. The hackathon's theme — LEGAL + TECH = A2J — says it all: hackathon teams will work to solve problems submitted by pro bono and "low bono" legal nonprofits across the state of Tennessee. Our goal is to connect technological solutions to real access to justice needs and create practical solutions. Go here to learn more about the hackathon schedule. The Unconference track offers an opportunity for those interested in the intersection of legal + tech and want to learn more before jumping in feet first to the hackathon. Go here to learn more about the Unconference. We hope you'll join us!


    The Hackathon and Unconference is a joint venture of Music City Legal Hackers (an initiative of Vanderbilt Law's Program on Law and Innovation) and Code for Nashville.


    FRIDAY, APRIL 7, 2016: Blockchain Bootcamp followed by social hour


    SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2016: the Hackathon and Unconference


    Go HERE for full schedule.


    Vanderbilt Law School: North Lobby

    131 21st Avenue S.

    Nashville, TN 37203


    Go HERE for map.


    The Hackthon's purpose is to help create real solutions to real problems and challenges faced by legal services nonprofits across Tennessee for the purpose of creating access to justice. The purpose of the Unconference is to address questions and explore interest in the intersection of law and technology, in a format determined by participants.



  • Venue

    Vanderbilt Law School

    131 21st Avenue S.

    Nashville, Tennessee



    Friday, April 7, 2017 | Vanderbilt Law School North Lobby

    Join us for a blockchain bootcamp and learn more about blockchain, the distributed ledger technology threatening to disrupt most every industry (including legal). The bootcamp is geared for both tech and non-tech minds.


    5:30 p.m. - Registration


    6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Bootcamp


    8:00 p.m. - Reception for all Hackathon participants


    Saturday, April 8, 2017 | Vanderbilt Law School North Lobby

    7:30 a.m. Breakfast and Sign-In


    8:00 a.m. Stakeholder Pitches followed by team formation and Hackathon commencement


    9:00 a.m. Team Hacking


    12:00 noon Lunch (provided)


    4:00 p.m. Team Presentations


    5:00 p.m. Judges Deliberate


    5:15 p.m. Award Ceremony


    5:30 p.m. Close


    Questions about the schedule? Please email us at hi@mclegalhackers.org.


    Saturday, April 8, 2017 | Vanderbilt Law School North Lobby

    See below for more information about the Unconference content and schedule.

  • the unconference

    an open space conference exploring the intersection of law + technology

    About the Unconference

    An unconference, also called an open space conference, is a participant-driven meeting. Unconferences are gatherings that try to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional talking head conferences, such as fees, sponsored presentations, and top-down organization.The agenda is created by the attendees at the beginning of the meeting. Anyone who wants to initiate a discussion on a topic can claim a time and a space. Unconferences typically feature open discussions rather than having a single speaker at the front of the room giving a talk. Participants, both knowledgeable and interested in legal technology topics, will determine what topics of interest will be discussed, who will lead the conversations and where the conversations will take place. Led by Dazza Greenwood of M.I.T. (lawyer and computer scientist), this unconference will address questions and explore areas of interest involving a wide range of legal technology application, implication and implementation conversations.


    The Hackathon and Unconference will be taking place in the same location concurrently so those attending the Unconference will have the opportunity to wander and explore among and between Hackathon teams and get a first-hand view of what happens in the hackathon environment. The Unconference format is designed to encourage this exploration and experience.


    The Unconference will run concurrently with the Hackathon.


    7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Sign-In


    8:00 a.m. Hackathon Stakeholder Pitches followed by team formation and Hackathon commencement


    9:00 a.m. Unconference Kickoff


    12:00 noon Lunch (provided)


    4:00 p.m. Hackathon Team Presentations


    5:00 p.m. Judges deliberate


    5:15 p.m. Award Ceremony


    5:30 p.m.Closing Remarks




    Hackathon + Unconference attendees are invited to the BLOCKCHAIN BOOTCAMP + Social Hour. These events will be held immediately following the BLOCKCHAIN AND THE LAW CONFERENCE on April 7, 2017.


    a bootcamp for anyone who wants to learn more about blockchain technology and how to use it to create an A2J solution at the hackathon

    Friday, April 7, 2017

    Vanderbilt Law School — North Lobby

    5:30 p.m. Sign In / Mingle

    6:00 p.m. Blockchain Bootcamp

    8:00 p.m. Social Hour



  • Stakeholders: meet the A2j legal assistance nonprofits

    These are the important organizations who are pitching challenge proposals at the Hackathon — real problems

    they need to solve in order to deliver legal assistance services to Tennesseans who face real access to justice issues.

    We invite you to click through and learn more about these vital A2J organizations, and JOIN US to help them.

    Our mission is to provide civil legal services to those with limited means and those at risk.

    With our clients’ help, TJC works to put faces on the vulnerable in our communities who cannot access health care. Their stories help policymakers and the general public understand the impact of inadequate health care policy on real people, including our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. They help humanize an abstract discussion about health care issues.

    The Tennessee Bar Association is a statewide professional organization of lawyers, offering its members a variety of programs and services designed to assist in professional development. The legal profession has a long history of serving the most vulnerable in our communities and the notion of helping those in need is an inherent part of the TBA’s tradition. As such, the TBA’s Access to Justice program develops and implements policy and initiatives to assist lawyers, the organized bar, law schools, legal services organizations and pro bono programs in providing access to the justice system for the poor and marginalized.

  • sponsors

    Many thanks to the following for their generous support of the Music City Legal Hackathon + Unconference

    and our mission to combine legal and tech to create access to justice!

    Interested becoming a sponsor? Excellent! Please go HERE for more information!


    The Music City Legal Hackathon + Unconference is a free event, powered 100% by volunteers, and ALL of our efforts go to solving real problems for nonprofit legal services providers in Tennessee. We rely on the generosity of sponsors to fund the event and help us fulfill our mission and solve this equation:



    Please CONTACT US if you would like to sponsor this inaugural event. In addition to earning legal hackathon superstar status, you will receive the following most awesome benefits:

    Promotion in the Sponsors section of this website!

    Join an exclusive group of access to justice supporters!

    Logos of any and all sponsors appear in the Sponsors section of this website, as well as the Blockchain and the Law Conference website (our sister event being held on April 7, 2017, prior to the Blockchain Bootcamp).

    Admission to the Blockchain and the Law Conference!

    This is one event you don't want to miss!

    For every $500 you pledge in support of the Hackathon + Unconference, we'll give you one admission to the Blockchain and the Law Conference. This is the premier event of Vanderbilt Law's Program on Law and Innovation, attracts both speakers and attendees from across the globe, and will be a sell-out crowd. (Not to mention that blockchain is the hottest tech topic on the planet right now ...) Learn more here. 

    Promotion in email marketing!

    Our HUGE mailing list will see your name! All the time!

    In each email blast, we'll call out sponsors pledging $1500+ for their kind generosity in supporting this event. We'll make you look good. We promise. ;)

    Shameless promotion on social media!

    We will share our love for you — often!

    Donors pledging $1500 or more will receive regular promotion via our social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook), praising your generosity and thanking you profusely for helping us solve very important access to justice problems.


    Seriously, is there a better reason?

    Every penny you pledge will go to support the creation of a technology solution to the most pressing need faced by a legal nonprofit in Tennessee. Want an easy way to earn your wings? THIS is it.

  • FAQ

    Answers to some of your most pressing questions ...

    What is a legal hackathon?

    It’s a gathering of thinkers, dreamers, and doers who come together, typically over a weekend, to share ideas and build solutions to the challenges set. It’s basically a pop-up innovation lab, where you will meet and collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds. If you want to be part of creating something interesting that makes a difference to our justice system, this event is for you!

    What is the theme and goal of the Music City Legal Hackathon?

    The theme for the inaugural Music City Legal Hackathon is LEGAL + TECH = ACCESS TO JUSTICE. We believe that technology offers solutions to some of the biggest and hardest-to-solve problems faced by those who are trying to serve the 80% of Americans who don't have access to the legal services they need. We want to solve some of these problems and create meaningful access to justice — via technology. Ultimately, the goal of this inaugural hackathon is to create technology solutions that create access to justice.

    Isn't hacking illegal?

    Not this kind, but remember to be aware of the possible intellectual property rights of others.

    Who can participate? And what does it cost?

    Anyone* can participate! Hackathon teams will be groups of diverse people, with different skillsets and experience. You do not need to know how to code or have other technical skills in order to participate. The sole requirement: you have an interest in working creatively with a diverse team to create access to justice. There is NO COST to participate in the hackathon.

    *Must be at least 18 years old.

    What can I expect to experience at the hackathon?

    You can expect to think, do, and learn a lot! The event will begin with informational and team-forming sessions, then we will break out into teams, where the magic will happen.

    Where do I park for the hackathon?

    Great question! Parking is always a challenge on a university campus. But we have great news! FREE PARKING for the Hackathon! In the Terrace Place garage. Yay!

    How do I form or join a team?

    Teams are generally a group of 3 - 5 people with diverse skills, and ideally include at least one coder. You can register as a team or register individually and join a team the day of the hackathon. We'll have ideation and formation activities before the hackathon starts, to help teams form.

    What should I bring?

    Bring your laptop. We'll provide power, internet access, snacks, beverages, and lunch.

    Are their prizes for hackathon winners?

    Because the ultimate goal of this hackathon is to create a tangible access-to-justice technology tool, our judges will be awarding a grant for the winning project. The grant money will go to the stakeholder (legal nonprofit) that is served by the winning project and will enable the stakeholder to fund further development of the solution.

    Who owns the hackathon project and the IP?

    Information about the intellectual property (IP) rights in any work product resulting from Hackathon activities may be found in the Participation Agreement for the Music City Legal Hackathon.

    Is there a hackathon code of conduct?

    Yes! Go here to read the code of conduct (long version) that Music City Legal Hackers have adopted for this Hackathon.

    Is the venue fully accessible to all?

    Yes! Vanderbilt Law School is ADA compliant. Anyone needing accommodations may contact us at hi@mclegalhackers.org.


    We'll need some helping hands with the Hackathon + Unconference. If you're interested in helping, please click the VOLUNTEER button below and fill out the form. We'll be in touch shortly!

  • contact

    Questions? Please use the contact form below to get in touch. If you'd like to join the Music City Legal Hackers mailing list and get regular updates on our meetups and hackathon planning, please write "mailing list" in the message section.