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Legal Utopia participate in PhD placement scheme to develop proof of concept in employment law

Legal Utopia is  participating in the PhD Industry Placement scheme run by The Data Lab in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Data-Driven Innovation Entrepreneurship (DDE) Programme.

Under the scheme, Katarzyna Prus, a PhD student from the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, will join the Lawtech firm, Legal Utopia for a short period to work on a proof of concept to automate claims assessments under the Vento Guidelines for injury to feelings in discrimination cases before they progress to an employment tribunal.

Legal Utopia has invested heavily in developing legal technology that provides access to justice. This includes its patent-pending AI tool that helps people intelligently understand their legal issues as well as source and hold calls with lawyers. The firm is also undertaking research and development in improving consumer quality of choice through digital comparison tools and will be launching new portals soon. In 2018, the company obtained a grant from European Regional Development Fund KEEP+ Scheme and, by 2019, it had analysed more than 100k+ cases for its machine learning solution. The collaboration with The Data Lab will contribute to Legal Utopia’s innovation in Lawtech.

Dr Paresh Kathrani, CEO of Legal Utopia said:

We are very happy to welcome Katarzyna to Legal Utopia. It is our vision to empower people through technology and, for many people, going to an employment tribunal for discrimination claims can cause considerable anxiety. We would like to assist them. Katarzyna brings tremendous experience in both AI and Natural Language Processing and will add to the work we started back in 2017 with our innovative AI system that helps people understand the law.

Katarzyna added:

I am happy to see companies like Legal Utopia use technology to make navigating through the complex legal system easier for more people. I hope that I can make a meaningful contribution towards  the firm’s vision during my time with them. 

Heather Thomson, Head of Skills at The Data Lab said:

Data and AI is often an underused resource which can help businesses of all sizes and across all sectors to make more informed decisions. This project was one of 30+ placements funded by the University of Edinburgh Data-Driven Innovation Entrepreneurship (DDE) programme.  

As a result of the impact and success of these initial projects, The Data Lab with additional support from DDE will support a further 60 placements over the next two years through our PhD Industry Placement Programme, which helps businesses to access a wealth of support, while also giving students and opportunity to build their skills in a professional environment.

Applications are open from the 27th April to be part of the new round of the programme, with opportunities for PhD students in data science and AI to undertake paid placements with organisations across sectors in Scotland.

Students and organisations interested in learning more about participating in the programme can contact placements@thedatalab.com or visit The Data Lab PhD Placements webpage for more information.

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