Law is a multifaceted discipline that’s becoming increasingly shaped by disruptive technologies. Across the globe, nations are struggling to catch up with the regulatory challenges that are caused by such rapid innovation. With that in mind, we’ve launched the Comparative Law in Action initiative—the first legal competition to combine comparative law, technology and policy.
The IE Comparative Law in Action Challenge connects students from leading law schools who then work together on a multimedia case in a hybrid environment that follows our Liquid Learning model. By mirroring the methods of tomorrow’s legal teams, participants are required to tap into a comparative mindset to reach a future-forward solution to today’s most pressing global challenges.
Six law schools, one challenge: lead the Republic of Lalaland out of their severe economic recession. The 2021 Comparative Law in Action Challenge participants used their innovative legal minds to navigate different legal systems in order to find a solution for the crisis the invented country was facing. Designed to push students to think critically throughout the entire challenge, participants were continuously introduced to obstacles while they put together their plans.
Through cutting-edge technology, students were able to come together in a hybrid experience to present their strategies in front of a panel of digital and legal experts. This unique pioneering competition used a multimedia setup that allowed students to work together in an environment much like those of real legal practices today.
Victoria Lujan, a student who participated in the Comparative Law in Action Challenge, described it as “a case-resolution challenge that aims to encourage creative thinking, making students reflect upon the comparative law methodology. The 2020-2021 Challenge focused on constitutional setbacks that have been faced and may be faced by democracies in the near future.”
How does it work?
During the challenge, participants are required to come up with solutions for political and social unrest in a fictional destination called “Lalaland.” They’re faced with questions and issues related to the electoral system, leveraging their leadership skills to create the best-possible solution to the country’s problems.
The challenge is highly focused on technology, and participants have to tie that into the dynamic reality of everyday life that is mimicked by the fictional destination.
“We had to find pragmatic solutions for the government of Lalaland to issues surrounding the composition of the parliament, online voting, expats’ right to vote, the right to be informed and the threats to it. We had the opportunity to compete against bachelor and master students of the University of Edinburgh, Bocconi University, Bucerius Law School, FGV Rio, Maastricht University and Tilburg University.” – Victoria Lujan
How does this challenge benefit students?
This nine-week, hands-on experience adds great educational value to participants’ learning experience as they can put their skills into practice in a collaborative environment. Not only does the challenge allow them to exercise their comparative law and technology skills, but they’ll be working on other skills that are integral to the legal profession, including public speaking, analyzing diverse areas of law and drafting highly professional legal reports.
Participating teams were required to submit a written portion alongside their presentation, serving as a highlight of the learning experience for some. Students commented that one of the important takeaways from the challenge were the professional writing skills learned through this required public policy report. Much different than an academic paper, students were able to put the previously learned public policy report theory into practice.
What’s more, the group setting further pushed students to work as a team and highlight one another’s strengths and soft skills when making decisions and creating a plan. The challenge further cemented research tactics and analytic skills, especially students’ attention to detail.
And the learning experience doesn’t stop when the competition is over. The winning group will be invited to take part in the IE Summer School—a one-week program where undergraduate students and recent graduates attend sessions on finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, leadership and communication. What’s more, aside from enhancing their strategic business skills, participants have the chance to garner first-hand industry insights from sector-leading experts.
According to Victoria, the Comparative Law in Action Challenge “pushed [her] to be flexible and to readapt while working in a team. Moreover, analysing these topics in a practical manner helped [her] to better contextualise how they are applied in practice. The competition is based on teamwork and hands-on learning, leaving its participants with a greater understanding of very technical notions.”
Thanks to initiatives like the Comparative Law in Action Challenge, students are able to explore a variety of legal concepts and enjoy a rewarding, hands-on experience during their time at IE Law School. This is one of the many challenges that we offer for students across all subjects and is part of the reason why graduates enter the professional sphere with a highly competitive edge.