Finding the right lawyer to represent your case could be one of the most daunting tasks of your life. Given the general scenario of our country, majority of the population suffer from an acute dearth of information on the legal sector; on how proceedings are carried out, whom to approach for a piece of legal advice etc. The situation thus, allows an easy manipulation of laymen, primarily in terms of the expense associated with hiring an attorney.
To mitigate this information gap, make this process more transparent, and enable common people to easily discover lawyers without having to search for one in random nooks and crannies, MyAdvo came into being.
Founded by two IIT Roorkee alumni in September 2015, Rishabh Gupta & Kushal Bhagat, MyAdvo is an online platform that helps individuals, startups, SMEs and corporates connect to lawyers best suiting their requirements, based on area of specialization, location, budget & other parameters. Users can also seek free legal advice from specialist lawyers by posting their query on the platform.
Elaborating on the vision of this company, Gupta maintained, “Our vision is building the largest global professional network of Lawyers & individuals, adding value across the value-chain from lawyer discovery, case preparation to case management. We want to establish ourselves in India, before expanding to South East Asian countries, as their are similar gaps in their legal markets.”
The idea came from personal experiences. Rishabh’s family faced an extremely grave legal situation back in 2008, and had to speak to multiple family, friends and lawyers but couldn’t find a suitable lawyer for a long time. Kushal too faced similar situations in professional life when he had to struggle finding subject matter expert lawyers. That’s when the duo realized that the legal market is extremely opaque with little to no information available on lawyers, their specializations, fee structures etc., and the seeds of MyAdvo were sown: a legal tech company that enables users to find the ‘right’ lawyer by providing relevant, curated and timely information on lawyers and law firms, helping users to make more educated decision.
Key Pain Points that MyAdvo Attempts at Resolving
Lawyer Discovery: In the current legal ecosystem, it is nearly impossible to judge which lawyer is suited to a particular legal situation.Owing to this, people run to friends & family, get stuck with the wrong lawyers; have to change lawyers midway and as a result, the court cases keep dragging on forever. Situations become worse for foreign manufacturers/industrial houses & NRIs looking to find lawyers practicing in India. The startup wants to bridge this gap, starting off by helping people connect to the ‘right’ lawyers.
Case Management & Preparation: In the very near future, the startup would also offer case preparation and management solutions to lawyers & clients which it believes, will help drastically reduce the time and costs spent in a typical court trial in India.
Features/ Services Offered by MyAdvo
Call: The simplest way to use the company’s service is by talking to one of their case managers on the company’s helpline #0124-4060860. They’ll understand your case requirements and using their tech backend, connect you to suitable lawyers via sms/call.
Q&A: Anonymity can be important in certain legal situations, and MyAdvo provides a free anonymous Q&A forum, wherein users can post their legal concerns and receive free responses from multiple lawyers.
Search: Users can also search for lawyers based on their locality and case category. MyAdvo Lawyer Profiles provide relevant and reliable information, helping users make smarter and informed decisions.
The services are absolutely free for users. The company charges a yearly subscription fee from lawyers to be a part of the platform.
Traction details (in numbers)
Since it’s launch on 20th Dec 2015, the company claims to have:
(1) Clients: 300+ clients who’ve engaged a lawyer using MyAdvo’s services
(2) Lawyers: Network of 500+lawyers and law firms
(3) Generated 40L in fees for lawyers and law firms
(4) Revenue of 1.55 L
(5) Customer satisfaction: 45% of the genuine legal queries that the startup has received, have engaged a lawyer using the platform.
(6) International: Served 3 international corporates looking for specialist lawyers in India.
Common Challenges and Competition
Adding a comment on the matter, Gupta said, “Initially it was a challenge to make lawyers trust us because the legal community is pretty close knit, and we were outsiders. I remember one of our early meetings with a lawyer, which basically went something like this, us: “would you like to provide relevant information about yourself, provide free legal advice online and provide proposals through an online platform? Lawyer: “Proposal? Online? information? what the hell are you talking about? Clients come to me”. Luckily we did not stop there and today we have a network of 500+lawyers registered with us. The legal market is extremely diverse, and there are few tech start-ups working in legal services, lawyer discovery, case research etc. We differentiate ourselves by providing superior lawyer profiling which saves a ton of time, effort and money for our users”.
The company which is run by a team of 9, is currently bootstrapped. However, it would soon be looking to raise funds which would be deployed for expanding its team, product development and marketing.
Market Size and Opportunities
The Indian legal market alone is close to $10 billion, and is extremely under-penetrated when it comes to technology and is ripe for disruption, states the Founder. Cross-border legal work is another big untapped opportunity. He adds, “we want to create a global network of lawyers and people in need of legal assistance, enabling seamless lawyer discovery & legal work management, with a strong presence in the ASEAN region.”