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Philadelphia Social Justice Hackathon: Uniting Tech and Justice Advocates for Change, April 5-7

Keyboard button that reads "Justice". Text reads "building a better legal user experience"

March 27, 2024

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law is proud to co-host the second annual Philadelphia Social Justice Hackathon. The 36-hour event will bring together students, programmers, data scientists and other advocates and community members to design tools that address social justice problems faced by Philadelphians and community service providers. Taking place from April 5 to April 7, 2024, at the law school building, 3320 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, the hackathon promises a weekend of innovation, collaboration and community impact.

“We believe that technology has the power to drive positive change in our communities,” says Eamon Gallagher, director of the Center for Law and Transformational Technology at Drexel Kline Law. “By bringing together diverse voices and skill sets, we can create meaningful solutions to address housing instability, economic disparities and environmental injustices.”

The event is free to attend and open to all participants, regardless of coding experience or affiliation with an organization or university.

  • Non-profit and community legal service providers, lawyers, justice advocates, union organizers, civic leaders and policymakers are encouraged to propose a project or mentor a team.
  • Developers, coders, programmers, data scientists and UI/UX designers are encouraged to help develop a solution or mentor a team.
  • All Philadelphia community members are invited to join a team or volunteer in another capacity at the event (e.g., project management, story-telling, subject matter expertise, etc.).


The hackathon will kick off with an opening reception to set the stage for participants to dive into an intensive sprint of small teams focused on specific community challenges. Meals will be provided.

A design session from the 2022 Philadelphia Social Justice Hackthon
A design session from the 2022 Philadelphia Social Justice Hackthon.

“Participating in a legal hackathon years prior and seeing the impact the intersection of law, technology and community could have, stirred us to co-develop the first Philadelphia Social Justice hackathon to focus on access to justice and social issues faced by Philly residents, the organizations working to address them, and bring diverse groups together to bridge the gaps,” says Insiyah Jamal, a lead organizer.

Community services providers are invited to submit projects for hackathon participants to assist with. Examples of possible projects include:

  • Building a data dashboard to show where there’s need for the services an organization provides.
  • Building a website to help the public connect to the services an organization provides.
  • Building a chatbot for the public to access information about their legal rights.

The 2022 Philadelphia Social Justice Hackathon supported community efforts to resolve tangled title disputes; to develop a dashboard to view data on sitting judges’ job performance, allowing Philadelphia voters to make better voting decisions on whether to retain them; and to assist refugees by simplifying navigation of service providers, among other projects.

The Philadelphia Social Justice Hackathon is co-hosted by all the law schools in the Greater Philadelphia area, civic and legal tech groups and community legal providers. The organizing team includes representatives from Drexel's Thomas Kline School of Law, the Philadelphia Chapter of, Code for Philly, Penn Carey Law, iLIT at Temple's Beasley School of Law, Villanova's Charles Widger School of Law, Penn Carey Law’s Future of the Profession Initiative and Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.

For more information and to register, visit or contact