Crowdsourced Legal Answers Website Gets $600K from Investors, Including Google Ventures
Posted Jan 21, 2011 12:16 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A legal website that offers “crowdsourced” answers to legal questions posed by California companies, especially startups, is getting $600,000 in funding from Google Ventures and individual investors.
The website is called LawPivot, and it could “disrupt some of the [legal] industry’s most basic business practices,” according to a November story by Fast Company. At the time of the article, the 80 lawyers approved to supply confidential answers came from the nation’s top 100 law firms.
The companies usually get about three answers for every question asked, CEO Jay Mandal tells the Business Insider. A new feature allows LawPivot to recommend the best lawyers to answer each question by analyzing data on users and trends, the company says in a press release announcing the new algorithm and the new funding.
The benefit for lawyers is the possibility of finding new clients. Yusuf Safdari, a corporate and securities attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, told Fast Company that he had found three new clients through his participation. It usually takes him between five minutes and a half-hour to research the answer.
Currently, California companies pay nothing to pose a question on LawPivot, and lawyers pay nothing for leads, but that will eventually change, TechCrunch reports. An expansion to other states is planned.
The $600,000 in new funding is in addition to $400,000 previously raised from individual investors, TechCrunch says. The company will be moving to Google’s campus where it will have access to Google resources, according to the Business Insider.
CEO and co-founder Mandal was formerly the lead mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer at Apple, with experience at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Co-founder Nitin Gupta, LawPivot’s vice president of business development, previously worked as an intellectual property litigation lawyer at Townsend & Townsend & Crew.