Author: Sanjana Seth
Introduction India is currently going through what some refer to as a ‘startup boom’. Be it e-commerce, healthtech, education, hyperlocal services; startups are sprouting up everywhere. In the current time when COVID-19 has disrupted the normal functioning of both law firms and clients. The demand and uptake of technology has accelerated and to cope up with that the technology of the country is empowering the legal system through digitization. Which is the process of converting information into a digital format? A Digital legal system is increasing across the world easily and is accessible with artificial intelligence. This digitalisation has been online filing, online forms, online court diaries or electronic bundles and also it helps in increasing accessibility of judges to electronic communications with lawyers and litigants. The technology ensures a faster and a much more transparent system for processing cases. Legal research has become much more easy and accurate due to the expansion of various useful tech-tools. What is a legal start-up? Before defining legal start-ups let’s understand what is a start-up. Start-ups are a young company founded by one or more entrepreneurs to develop a unique product or service and bring it to market. Start-ups also attract investors interested in the potential for high returns on a high-risk investment. For our purposes, a legal start-up is a newly formed organization providing innovative products or services to improve legal service delivery. They focus on "Innovation" broadly and to include innovative products and services or innovation in legal service delivery. For that purpose we have lawyers and consultants. Rising demand of legal tech start-ups At this time, when the legal system is witnessing a fundamental change with the mode of service delivery that made traditional companies shift towards technology and adopt legal technology and innovation teams. India has around 50,000 startups in India in 2018, around 8,900 - 9,300 of these are tech-led startups 1,300 new tech startups were born in 2019 alone, which implies that there are 2-3 tech startups born every day. And right now, the legal industry has also seen significant growth in the number of legal startups in the last five years. Even though some services, including video conferencing provider Zoom and collaboration software Slack, have seen a huge increase in users in recent weeks. Freshworks in the legal sector is experiencing an increased demand for legal advice or advice that allows companies to serve their clients remotely such as chat and call routing services. Technology makes it possible for legal teams to easily tackle a mountain of unstructured data with speed and precision, to separate the wheat from the chaff by extracting relevant nuggets and discerning meaningful patterns. In this current situation, technology is assisting lawyers in their practice by carefully managing these processes through an efficient practice management system. Artificial intelligence is remembering your choices and suggesting standard procedures to you, thus reducing your manual effort every time. Greater efficiency, better time management, up-to-date clients, and flawless financial management are the key changes that attorneys are experiencing right now. With the help of technology, lawyers are now better prepared and up to date. For example, take Legal Kart, it is an application-based solution that helps lawyers track their cases, add their clients, update clients with real-time chat messages, attend audiences on video calls, add all kinds of costs. incurred in the case, send an invoice with one click. At Legal Kart, a lawyer can manage team members, share documents with them, seek help in real time, add voice notes to their cases, and receive important documents from their clients. Legal Kart is also like a Social Network of Lawyers where you will find your colleagues, connect with them, share and accept all kinds of information and documents. "In the last five months, we have received 22,500 requests for legal assistance in more than 500 cities across the country," said Arvind Singhatiya, founder and CEO of LegalKart. "Due to the closure, most cases are not yet on file, but we expect the lawyers to be busy once the courts are fully operational." Through the "LegalTech Artificial Intelligence Market Research Report 2015-2026" report, an in-depth analysis of the global LegalTech artificial intelligence market is provided on top companies, key products and applications. The research report provides an inclusive analysis of the major industry drivers, restraints, and their impact on market growth during the forecast period. This information helps the consumer to know the competitors better. Legal Startups is not a new scenario for developed countries, but surely for India. Most of the legal startups in India belong to the non-technical section, which is the online search, courses and information platform. Recently some platforms have emerged in India supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is helping to provide fast and efficient services / results. Few law schools in India have featured a legal initiation cell, incubation centers, law and technology center, artificial intelligence center, etc. to promote law and technology, innovation and startup initiatives, which is very encouraging news for our legal fraternity. Post-covid, many attorneys plan to restructure and innovate for a greater digital transformation of productivity, efficiency, and profitability. These changes will forever transform the practice of law and the provision of legal services. For example: Lawrato.com has 1,000 qualified and evaluated lawyers in more than 150 cities in India. It is based in Delhi and allows users to communicate with lawyers via email, phone, video calls and face-to-face meetings. Users can post inquiries online, get responses from attorneys, and hire a consultant for a detailed opinion. They have an income of around 40 lakhs a year and have recently received funding of $ 100,000. Looking at how legal services are produced and purchased today, compared to before the global financial crisis, is not radically different. We continue to address only one part of the production line. The unpleasant truth is that in-house attorneys have not always wanted to enter this side of the legal world. They prefer to deal with complex legal problems. By comparison, the part of the business that makes goods will have engineers working 24/7, trying to increase productivity and efficiency. That lacks the sector of the law. Conclusion The key attitude that lawyers must adopt, both in the company and in law firms, is to be able to see how the solutions fit into the daily lives of their clients. By not replacing lawyers and leaving them free to focus on the real value they can add to your company or your clients. "The best lawyers have nothing to fear from technology," says Mabey. Ultimately, if we tell smart lawyers we're taking their jobs, they are mostly delighted - the job we're taking on is heavy work and it's not what they went to law school for. Any young attorney who spent countless nights doing a basic document review can surely relate to that sentiment and see the value in startups that want to turn things around. ‘For the laggards, there will be unhappy lawyers. It will lead to high costs and risk arising, because no matter how much your budget is cut, you will still be responsible for that legal risk. By trying new technologies, you can get a real edge and hopefully have a happier staff. " Innovators have gone mainstream and it seems they are here to stay and help. However, technology does not solve everything. It is quite easy to ingest a document and extract the standard elements, but what is not easy is to understand the contractual language. Therefore, in a legal context, it is not so easy to trust that you have extracted all the key data points. There is little standard contract language or labeled examples for which the information is confidential, so this creates some difficulties.
References 1.https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/people-in-distress-are-dialing-legal-tech-startups/articleshow/76637752.cms?from=mdr 2.https://www.law.com/international-edition/2020/05/13/indian-firm-graduates-legaltech-startups-from-incubator-amid-rising-demand/?slreturn=20200727065952 3.https://www.law.com/legaltechnews/2020/05/13/indian-firm-graduates-legaltech-startups-from-incubator-amid-rising-demand-397-34112/ 4.https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/legal-tech-is-disrupting-indian-market-faster-than-peoples-anticipation-arvind-singhatiya-founder-legalkart/articleshow/72964836.cms