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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Landscape Analysis- Aim and Categories

‘Startup’ is the word of our age. From being a concept that was neglected for regular day and desk jobs, the present generation is set to thinking about how they can contribute to solve problems by coming up with their own solutions. And, there is a race for coming up with the best solutions for the same problem, with the society adopting a natural selection process of what’s best for them. 

The legal field has also seen the mushrooming of startups in the legal technology landscape, and some of them have gained popular success. In a landscape analysis of these startups, our aim is to take a bird-eye view of the categories of startups in the legal tech landscape and how effectively they provide solutions for the problems they set to solve. 

But first, what is legal tech? It is the use of technology to provide legal services. It can be the simplest software interface like an app, and can move on to use of complex AI programmes to cater the proposed legal services. 

As of today, in India, several legal startups have emerged, and they fall into one of the following categories-

Online legal service providers- These are very similar to traditional approach to lawyers, except that they are online. You can approach with any legal query online, and a lawyer will solve your query online for a fee. Some of these service providers have a subject-centric focus like providing startup-centric legal services, real estate centric legal services, etc. 

Searching and booking lawyers online- For those who have no idea how to approach and who to approach for a lawyer, legal startups have come up with the idea of a central window to search, review and book lawyers according to your need. 

Single window services for documentation and drafting- Why pay a lawyer thousands for drafting a simple contract, most of which has standard clauses? These startups aim at providing customized contracts at a fraction of the time and cost. 

Legal research tools (mostly case law finders)- These are tools aimed at simplifying the lives of lawyers. No longer does one have to run behind fat law books and work over days to find out relevant case laws, and other cases that have cited/relied on them.

Now that we have an idea of what exactly these legal startups are trying to provide, in the next post in this series, we’ll take a look at what parameters we would use to analyse them, and what is the scope of such analysis. Stay tuned!

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