Lawyers on Demand: 10 Startups to Watch In 2017

  • 28 September 2017
  • James Njau

The legal business is booming, and if you don’t believe us look at the number of investors looking to make a killing in legal tech. With the words ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’ on everyone’s tongues, we can all agree that it is an interesting and exciting time to get your feet in the legal industry. There are numerous companies that have come up to challenge the traditional business model, mostly focusing on technology in order to create efficiency both directly to their clients and within the organizations.

This time, we are going to look at 10 startups that are disrupting the legal industry, promising to shape the way services are delivered.

1. Rocket Lawyer

Cutting through the red tape in the legal industry is never an easy task. But for over 20 million people using Rocket Lawyer, the task doesn’t get any easier. Founded in 2008  with its headquarters in San Francisco, this company is built on the belief that the law exists to empower people, families and business owners. It is on the forefront of making legal services easily available and affordable with its online platform that allows individuals to get free legal advice and affordable representation anytime and from any device.

2. UpCounsel

For businesses that are looking for an alternative to traditional expensive, slow and unreliable legal services, UpCounsel is a great option. This tech startup (founded by Mason Blake (CTO) and CEO Mathew Faustman) has been called “The most exciting startup in the legal space” by Bloomberg, and for a good reason. It gives businesses access to a diverse and responsive on-demand legal service, boasting over five thousand attorneys on its online platform and more than ten thousand businesses using its services. With an aim of helping businesses focus their resources on improving their services rather than worrying about expensive legal fees, UpCounsel is ensuring companies can build a legal team on its online dashboard and even return to their favorite lawyer when need be.

3. Legal Reach

With a whopping $900,000 in seed capital and a big number of registered lawyers from top boutique firms, there is no doubt that getting the best attorneys on LegalReach’s online platform is pretty easy. This San Francisco-based startup founded by Matt Martin (who is also the Product VP) is proving to be a one-stop shop for individuals and companies looking to hire professional attorneys. How does it work? Well, the company offers an advanced algorithm to find an attorney that fits your specifications, allowing you to compare the details from a wide variety of attorneys to find what works for you. You get to contact your attorney of choice to handle your project. It's really that simple!

4. LawTrades

Getting ubiquitous access to affordable legal services has never been this easy with LawTrade. It is an online messaging platform that simplifies the complex problems of getting legal work done. With an accumulative funding of over $1.5 million, this startup presents an elegant minimalistic approach to how anyone can acquire legal advice. With Raad Ahmed as its CEO and founder, LegalTrades comes with upfront prices to projects such as IP protection, company incorporation and contract reviews from top lawyers in the industry. What’s more, its attorneys are empowered to work more independently, therefore, eliminating overhead expenditures. And do you know what this means for businesses? Increased productivity and low costs!

5. ROSS Intelligence

For most companies, legal research is not only expensive but also time-consuming. This is why ROSS (a Toronto based startup) was created by Jimoh Ovbiangele, Andrew Arruda and Pargles Dall’Oglio (all founders). The platform seeks to reduce the price of services rendered out to clients since it is built on IBM's cognitive computers, enabling clients to maximize on their legal research hassle-free. With the backing from prominent incubators such as Y Combinator, this ROSS is able to answer questions in a natural and easy to understand the structure, allowing you to keep track of changes in the legal industry and updates you in case of a new court decision that can later alter your case.

6. Clerky

For startups that want to get legal paperwork done right, Clerky is, without a doubt, a company to check out. This budding disruptor, co-founded by two attorneys in the technology space (Darby Wong and Chris Field), strives to enable startups achieve legal due diligence that levels up to what top law firms offer. With a team of highly experienced paralegals and attorneys, not to mention a specialty for startups, Clerky is able to render unique services that go a notch higher to quickly solve issues to do with legal research and paperwork.

7. Lawdingo

Lawdingo boasts of a $790,000 funding from prominent investors such as AltaIR Capital and Y Combinator. It’s a New York City-based startup that offers paralegal professionals on-demand. Here is how it works: you first create a Lawdingo account that specifies your legal needs accompanied by an initial deposit. Then a representative from Lawdingo connects you with a paralegal that matches your request. With Nikhil Nirmel as the founder and CEO, this disruptor is built on the belief that legal service should be easily accessible online. On its website, you can connect with qualified professional lawyers and let them handle your legal work including drafting litigation documents, filing court documents, helping with petition discovery and completion and legal research.

8. JustLegal

JustLegal is a startup that uses a SaaS business model to disrupt the legal industry. Founded by Joe Burchard, Willy Ogorzally, and Victor Rojas, the company boasts of a cumulative seed capital of over three hundred thousand USD, meaning that it is in this industry to stay. It offers consumers a free and easy way to find the right legal consultation thanks to the many lawyer profiles on its online platform. To get help even faster, its lawyer profiles are organized according to their practice area, making your search a breeze. You can also book and schedule a free Video chat consultation from a variety of local attorneys within 60 seconds thanks to its highly advanced technology.

9. InCloudCounsel

This startup offers large enterprises an easy solution for high-volume repetitive legal documentation. It has a network of Europe and North America's solo practitioners and utilizes cloud-based software that has the right tools for fast processing. With its product, clients are able to have quality and consistent legal data management while reducing costs. InCloudCounsel enjoys the backing of top VC firms such as KF20Capital, meaning it’s well set to be an ideal solution for repetitive legal work in San Francisco. Founded by Troy Pospisil Lane Lillquist and Ben Levi and with highly qualified partners, this startup can deliver quality work with predictable and affordable pricing.

10. Visabot

Visabot boasts of a $200,000 seed capital funding with a valuation of over two million USD which is no mean feat for a startup its size. Founded by Artem Goldman and Andrey Zinoviev, Visabot is an AI-powered robot that is pioneering sophisticated tech in the immigration sector. Inspired by top immigration lawyers in the US, it helps foreigners migrate to the US much faster, even without an immigration attorney. Currently, Visabot's quick learning algorithm is able to provide services such as getting a green card to the US, filling of immigration forms, B-2 Visa extension, and O-1 visa petitions. With intelligent suggestions based on other smart analysis from previous success stories plus a data collection capacity that supports your case, handling routine legal immigration tasks is made easy and much faster.

About James Njau