Given the complexities in the legal sector and the poverty of information on the same, a layman often fails to make the right and informed decision when it comes to hiring an attorney. Further, things like developing an understanding of how litigations are carried out or whom to approach for legal advice, coupled with an array of similar issues, act as the typical challenges people face while handling a legal affair.
To address these common yet extremely critical problems, LawRato was incepted.
It is a legal-tech platform providing expert legal advice and counseling to the common man. Besides, the platform allows you to book a private consultation with the best-suited lawyer, through meeting, email or phone. LawRato also has a ‘legal answers knowledge bank’, and law guidelines to provide users with immediate answers during troubled times.
Founded in January 2015, the company is the brainchild of Rohan Mahajan, an alumnus of CLC, Faculty of Law, Delhi University and Nikhil Sarup, a software engineer with 16 years of experience in digital marketing.
How and Why was LawRato Born?
Recalling the conception of LawRato, Rohan said, “the startup was conceptualized after a keen observation regarding how the common man found it extremely difficult to get the right legal advice, or often went ahead with the wrong lawyer as they could not rightfully evaluate the skills required for their legal requirements.”
Adding further on the problem statement that the startup attempts to address, he stated, “unfortunately, the Indian legal landscape is not easy to navigate for most people, and they often abstain from approaching the law until and unless the situation is really grim. In times of despair and trouble, when people need a lawyer, they do not have any trusted place or brand that offers transparent and top quality legal solution / lawyers to help them get justice”.
In nutshell, LawRato’s mission is to make it simpler for users to find the right lawyer near them, based on practice area, experience, rating, location and availability.
How does it Work?
1.Search and Select the Lawyer based on your need – Search by Specialization, City or Court Name.
2. Choose and Book the way you would like to consult with the selected Lawyer – Email / Phone / Meeting / Video Call / Your Home or Office.
The platform is custom-built on the LAMP stack with an MVC framework. Additionally, the company has native app on Android. It manages operations at the back-end with the help of a customized CRM.
Business Model and Monetization
LawRato connects users to lawyers in various cities in India, depending on the user’s requirement. It is a curated marketplace, where verified lawyers offer free advice and private consults to platform users.
Users pay a nominal consultation fee to consult a Lawyer through the platform. LawRato retains a part of the consultation fee as their revenue.
Traction Details and Funding Status
LawRato claims to be getting over 1 lakh unique visitors, 7500 enquiries and 300 paid users per month on its platform. As per the team, the company has more than 25,000 registered platform users currently, and has helped 20,000 users get free expert legal advice through their platform so far.
LawRato raised $100,000 in mid 2015 from a set of angel investors and is now in advanced stage of discussion with investors to raise their next round.
How is it Different from the Likes of MyAdvo and Legistify?
Commenting on the competitive landscape, Rohan maintained, “as our users always want the best of the best, LawRato has its own verified network of legal partners. Unlike other legal directories, we actually know each and every lawyer on their platform as we do the lawyer verification and background authentication of the lawyers ourselves through a 5 step verification process”.
He further emphasized on LawRato’s in-house case-managers, who are non-practicing lawyers, always available for helping the user to connect to the right lawyer according to their needs.
Scope and Future Plans
As stated by Rohan, over 16 lac cases are filed in India every month, excluding consumer court cases. The company thus, sees a lot of potential in self-help and legal automation, beyond lawyer consults.
Expanding on LawRato’s future plans, he confirmed the upcoming launch of the following :
- Free Do-It-Yourself legal agreements
- Fixed-cost legal services for common basic tasks
- Case Review / Second opinion service
As stated in the introductory paragraph, the legal sector in India is shackled by a lot of complexities, intertwined with a sluggish system. The situation thus, calls for a need amongst professionals to start thinking with an entrepreneurial bent of mind, and transform this area.
The history of legal-tech startups in India is brief, but its future definitely looks bright. It is good to see young minds experimenting with technology to disrupt a system which had been languid, cluttered and notoriously averse to change for a really long time. The disruption in this area is not only benefiting the layman but also making a conspicuous impact on businesses and institutions.