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IE Law School students bring technology to hospitalized children and adults

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For the third year running, Voluntechies turned to IE Law School students to find legal solutions to the real challenges they currently face.

Voluntechies is a non-profit organization that puts on tech workshops featuring virtual reality, robots and drones to both entertain and educate adults, children and other vulnerable groups who are currently recovering in hospital. “This year, Legal Clinic students and law firm Ashurst helped us analyze the civil responsibility both Voluntechies and our volunteers have, while also ensuring we comply with data protection laws,” says their founder and CEO, Francisco Rojo.

Voluntechies’ needs meant that the Legal Clinic had two objectives to tackle: First of all, to understand the organization’s civil responsibility by revising its volunteer insurance policies and defining the directors’ duties. Secondly, to check the NGO’s collaboration agreements to ensure they complied with data protection regulations. This was a challenge for bachelor and master’s students, who had to advise the organization on the actions they should take to meet the new legal framework.

“The entry into force of the GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) in 2016 and its transposition to the Spanish legislation via Organic Law 3/2018 resulted in a new landscape to work with,” explains Doble Master en Abogacia y Asesoría Jurídica (LL.M.) student, Rogelio Jiménez.He goes on to highlight how this advisory project has complemented his academic studies at IE University: “As students, we don’t spend much time during the degree analyzing the legal implications of data protection for businesses. That’s why it has been so important to tackle this fundamental aspect right from day one in order to properly advise our client.”

“The proactive mentality of the IE Law School students, and their ability to get stuck in from day one, was exceptional. This meant that they understood the problem we were facing right from the get go, and effectively worked to help advise us on the best way forward.”

Rogelio, who describes the collaboration between teams and the NGO as “formidable,” points to the practical aspects of this experience: “It has allowed me to work in a team and collaborate with highly experienced, prestigious professionals while completing the project.” The student also notes that the project involved combining academic tasks with the daily work of a professional legal practice: “During this intense period we had to balance finalizing our master’s with completing three projects and presenting their results to clients. This has prepared us to work well in a demanding world.”

Collaboration was also an enriching aspect of the experience for the Voluntechies founder, Francisco Rojo: “The proactive mentality of the IE Law School students, and their ability to get stuck in from day one, was exceptional. This meant that they understood the problem we were facing right from the get go, and effectively worked to help advise us on the best way forward.” In Rogelio Jiménez’ eyes, being an IE University student is a differential factor in itself, thanks to the flexibility it teaches students when it comes to facing challenges: “Circumstances forced us to innovate and adapt to change, and so we had the opportunity to present our projects remotely and in an interactive manner.”

Voluntechies hope to collaborate with the Legal Clinic again next year on a comparative law report. “I would highly recommend the experience to other non-profit organizations that, like us, often don’t have the capacity or recourses to secure first-class legal assistance like this,” concludes Rojo. For IE Law School student Jiménez, the Legal Clinic empowered him to grow professionally: “From day one IE University has contributed to my development of soft skills, which are essential in an exciting and constantly evolving field like law.”