Get-Lawyer App Wins First Place
June 24, 2019
The Times of Israel – Ben-Gurion University students won a competition with a mobile app designed to match public defenders to potential clients.
The Students Innovating in the Public Sector 5.0 annual competition is sponsored jointly by BGU, Google, Israel’s Ministry of Justice, and the Government Information and Communications Authority. It was created to improve governmental services online.
The judging committee was made up of BGU’s Head of Entrepreneurship Dana Gavish-Fridman and government officials.
“This important project with Google harnesses the wonderful entrepreneurial forces on campus in order to upgrade service provided by the public sector and to improve the lives of ordinary citizens,” says David Bareket, vice president and director general of BGU.
The Get-Lawyer app automatically selects an appropriate defense counsel based on a suspect’s personal data and criteria, including language, type of crime the person has been accused of, length of time in custody, and the amount of work currently facing the public defenders’ office in a particular region.
Defense attorneys who download the Get-Lawyer app to their smartphones will automatically receive notices whenever a new criminal file is opened, confirm their availability, and input how long it would take them to make contact with the suspect. The app will then recommend the most appropriate lawyer for the case. Immediately after being chosen, the attorney is sent preliminary information about the suspect on his or her cellphone, even before arriving at the police station to conduct an initial interview.
The winning entry was designed by BGU students Noa Paz, Tzofia Za’afran, Ofir Kuttner, and Amir Shtadler.
Cash prizes of NIS 1,000 to NIS 5,000 ($276-$1,381) were awarded to every student who made it to the finals.