Final-year student David Meshaka, research assistant Tiffany Perez and venture capitalist Dustin Shay take us through their biggest lessons from the LWOW Sprint 2022 event

LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) is a program designed to encourage creative problem-solving among professionals in the law and business fields. IE Univeristy hosted The LWOW Sprint 2022 event, it was a three-day “weekender” learning event for practicing and aspiring legal and business professionals. Participants came from a wide range of disciplines in the sector, and included a variety of intergenerational, multicultural legal professionals, business executives, academics and students.

Held in collaboration with and hosted by IE Law School in Segovia from March 25–27, there was a particular air of participation about this year’s edition, as it was the first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And it was well worth the wait, as participants engaged in a collaborative, team-based and multidisciplinary experience as they wrestled with real challenges the industry is facing.

Over three high-intensity days, teams were assigned tasks by a sponsoring law firm, legal department or company in the sector. These teams worked on contemporary business-of-law problems or social responsibility challenges to create the foundations of practicable solutions. At the end of the event, these solutions were presented to a panel of expert judges.

Learning with an open mind

David Meshaka is a final-year student in the Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics program. He wanted to combine his studies in law with his love for technology, and says the LWOW Sprint 2022 event gave him real-life insight into the professional fields he’d like to pursue in the future.

One of the concrete skills David learned from taking one of the LWOW classes was visual representation of legal notions and jargon, exemplifying the search for new ways of communicating, leading and approaching culture change that characterize LWOW.

David says that, complementing his experience of IE University’s diverse community, he was particularly interested to work with people from other universities and see his cultural awareness evolve even further. Connecting with like-minded individuals made the event even more fun and exciting for him. “The environment allowed us to learn from each other mutually with an open mind,” he commented. He would recommend participating in LWOW for any student with an interest in law, business and technology.

Electricity and community

Tiffany Perez participated as a research assistant at this year’s LWOW event, and believes it’s so much more than a think tank. Tiffany highlights the diverse nature of the event, calling it a “safe space for diverse people to be their authentic selves.” In doing so, they get to explore creative solutions they would have never considered when restricted to the traditional notions of how law is practiced.

Tiffany says the energy in the room was “electric,” as the teams solved problems pertaining to various contemporary issues in the sector, including knowledge sharing, ESG and refugees’ access to healthcare.

The dynamic presenters and the clear, exciting ways that they present material bring Tiffany back year after year. She finds the community welcoming and wonderful, saying “I have yet to find another program that holds those two attributes to such a high level.”

Some of the most important skills Tiffany says she has gained from her experiences at LWOW events relate to her professional self-confidence. She says she has learned to recognize the importance of her contributions and grown into her role as a leader, speaking up when she has something to say. She also finds herself more receptive to teamwork, highlighting the importance of icebreakers and maintaining a healthy team dynamic.

Finally, the LWOW mentality of focusing on the problem first has helped her sharpen her critical-thinking skills. Instead of jumping to solutions, she concludes, participants must think deeply about a given issue and look at it from all viewpoints.

A judge’s perspective

One of the judges at this year’s event, Dustin Shay, shares Tiffany’s views on the importance of critical thinking. A venture capitalist and big supporter of the LWOW program, Dustin first participated in 2016. He explains that the program challenges students to “think outside the box and explore new perspectives” outside of what law schools might teach them. It’s also a chance, he adds, to foster “meaningful connections” for all participants, from students to sponsors and judges.

According to Dustin, “the most challenging skill sets for young people entering the workplace today are simply communication and collaboration.” This is where LWOW benefits all participants, from students wishing to get their foot in the door, to employers looking for future talent and businesses seeking fresh ideas. Working together with people from different backgrounds in a high-pressure setting is an educational experience for all.

IE Law School is proud and honored to have invited all the participants to Segovia to enjoy what was a hugely successful event. We look forward to the next LawWithoutWalls event keenly.