For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
In the more than four years since the onset of the 2008 global economic crisis, law firms have had to restructure how they do business and how they structure fees. As such, a new crop of startups has developed to create greater efficiencies within the legal sphere.
One startup making waves in the legal services space is Lexplique. Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, Lexplique connects lawyers and businesses with clients across the globe by breaking down language barriers and democratizing access to foreign legal information. Leila Golchehreh, co-founder and CEO of Lexplique, is a California and New York licensed attorney who has spent her career working in France and the US, assisting companies with foreign business.
While advising clients, Golchehreh noticed how little information was available about foreign legal systems in different languages. She said, "We now have 18 foreign legal contributors, who are top attorneys & LLMs with direct experience working within multiple legal jurisdictions and multiple-languages, working from cities and countries across four continents."
Another startup is LawPivot, which matches lawyers with people who need legal advice. The site first asks users to identify their location and specific area of law that they need help with. Then, an algorithm determines which of LawPivot's community of two thousand-plus lawyers is best qualified to answer the question. Within 24 hours, clients receive multiple answers to their queries. (A LawPivot competitor, Pearl.com, works similarly, but is not restricted to legal advice. Users can also query mechanics, computer technicians, veterinarians, and more.)
RocketLawyer, another online resource, delivers a wide range of offerings, including "free legal letters," "popular government forms," incorporation services and bankruptcy protection advice. The site aims to be a go-to resource for laymen.
Should traditional law firms feel threatened by all of this? Yes and no. For the completion of small forms or simple queries, these new resources likely can eliminate business for existing lawyers and law firms. But that said, a law degree and years of experience will be difficult for a novice to replicate when facing complicated matters.