New Delhi: Legal startups, offering advice, services and access to experts, have put expert advice at your fingertips.
The startups are providing easy access to expert lawyers, low costs and flexibility to the user. Websites such as legistify.com, lawrato.com, indiafilings.com, vakilsearch.com are working as online platforms aiming to redefine the way people seek legal help.
Lawrato, for example, provides individuals a platform to connect with lawyers and get in touch with them directly to seek advice. It enables users to post their query upon which they are directly put in touch with a lawyer who then assists them further. The user can also select a lawyer from the vast database segregated by their field of expertise.
The legal tech start up, brain child of founder, Rohan Mahajan, a law graduate from Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi, conceived the idea of an engaging online legal platform at a time when he found himself in a legal tussle and found it difficult to access quick legal help.
“It struck me that there was huge search volume for legal advice with nobody catering to it. The starting point for a common man who does not have access to renowned lawyers is not finding a lawyer but seeking answers to legal problems that people face in their daily lives. Ninety per cent of law-related search traffic pertained to advice and solution for varied legal issues. I decided to provide the common man with a reachable, end-to-end solution-based platform for their legal woes,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan says that a telephonic consultation with a lawyer starts at Rs.500 for 30 minutes and may go up to Rs.2,500 depending on the lawyers expertise which is ranked using an inbuilt algorithm which ranks lawyers based on verification of their credentials.
Similar are the services offered by Pathlegal and Vakilsearch which allows a user to ask legal questions, seek legal advice and offers a large database of legal experts for one to choose from.
Apart from getting quick answers to complicated legal problems, Noida-based legal platform Legistify, founded by BITS Pilani graduate Akshat Singhal, offers automated documentation through its website. It provides users tools for a do-it-yourself documentation such as drafting lease agreements and business contracts.
“Even though there are more than 12 lakh lawyers registered with the bar council, people are not able to find reliable legal experts in times of need and usually rely on family/friends for help, based on their past experiences. This is accompanied by exorbitant costs and processes which the user may not be aware of, making the whole system of legal advice non-transparent and cumbersome,” said Singhal, chief executive officer (CEO) of Legistify.
Success rate of these alternate forms of legal aid can be judged from instances where Lawrato was approached by Nirbhaya’s parents who did not have access to legal experts, to engage lawyers for the 2012 rape case in the Supreme Court or when the sister of Siddharth Sharma, a victim of a recent hit and run case, needed legal help.
The next time you are in a legal fix and cannot find your way ahead, just remember that a google search can lead you to expert legal advice.