Indian Legal System going through tough time because of pendency of cases for years. Many efforts have been made to cope up with this situation by implementing different ways and means. We need radical change in Indian legal system and the innovation is the answer to this. Western countries have come up with several innovative platforms in terms of legal startups to address various legal affairs and challenges. We also need good number of Legal Startups in India to make the present system efficient and effective which is non-existent. People do not know about the Legal Startups which is the need of the hour. Looking at this scenario, Legal Startups (www.legalstartups.info) platform was created for highlighting all Legal Startups across the world. In the Legal Startups tab (http://legalstartups.info/legal-startup.php), efforts have been made to assimilate all Legal Startups around the world and classified those into different categories as per its characteristics and my understanding which have been listed below. Further fields can be added depending upon the features.
1. Online Search
2. Information Platform
3. Legal Services
4. Technology Platform
5. Legal Aid/Awareness
6. Online Courses
We should keep one thing in mind; law firm/practice of law is not the legal startup unless there is an innovative approach in providing legal services. I served as a faculty coordinator of GNLU Legal Incubation Council, A Section 8 Company registered under the Companies Act, 2013 set up by Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar as a not for profit organisation. It was a great experience with the law students and discussing their innovative idea and I was really amazed to see their out of box thinking. It was a tough task for me to convince law students to think innovatively and do something path breaking in the present conventional legal field. One thing I noticed that there is less awareness about the Legal Startups in the country. Thinking in this direction, I got motivated to build a platform on Legal Startups and materialised the same in January 2018. Main objectives of this platform are to highlight Legal Startups around the world and interview person who have started legal startups so that others can have idea about it and initiate his/her venture. Presently as a Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) faculty coordinator for Parul Institute of Law, Parul University, Vadodara I have been guiding and mentoring law students to think about innovative idea and its implementation. For this recently I conducted Workshop on Legal Startups and How to make B Plan for the students.
Legal Startups is not new phenomena for developed countries but surely for India. There is a buzz regarding legal startups in India for last half a decade. Most of the legal startups in India fall in non-technical category i.e. online searches, online courses, and informational platform. Many have started copying other legal startups without any innovative approach which is not desired at all. But recently some platforms have come up in India supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is helping to provide speedy and efficient services/output. Few law schools in India have come up with Legal Startup Cell, Incubation Centres, Centre for Law & Technology, Centre for Artificial Intelligence etc. to promote law and technology, innovation and startups initiatives which is very encouraging news for our legal fraternity. We all know that it is not feasible to start such centres/cell at most of the law schools where other conventional centres are running for years. But one thing can be done at the institute by planning seminar, workshop on Legal Startups, AI, Technology etc. so that at least students can be made aware about unconventional area in legal field and work in that direction. I have been conducting workshop/seminar on Legal Startups across the country for last couple of years. After the event, I received many queries from the students as well as from the faculty regarding Legal Startups and how to proceed with further. Some of the students were having great idea to be executed in near future. This really gives true satisfaction rendering assistance to our legal fraternity.
I appeal law students to innovate in the legal field and contribute in it in effective manner. There is also a need to train law faculty to have an idea about Legal Startups so that they can guide law students in right direction. I am sure that India will witness many creative, innovative Legal Startups in coming days which will change the face of legal profession in India.