Why We Backed LawTrades

Billy Draper
Jan 27, 2017 · 2 min read

The legal industry in the US is something on the order of $430B, or to put it in the terms of a more stable currency, 54 Million 1st Edition Gem Mint Condition Charizard Cards.

Lawyers (depending on specialty) have an incredibly stressful task — they come in to help a company or a family or an individual at times when the stakes are really high and tolerance for mistakes is really low. The deal needs to get done quickly, but it also needs to be perfect.

As a result, legal expertise is quite expensive. Well-respected firms will bill astonishingly high hourly rates for their service because the going rate for peace of mind is at least a grip, usually multiple grips.

I believe there are businesses where paying by the hour makes a lot of sense: babysitting, dog walking, oboe lessons — I could go on. But something as nuanced as legal assistance being billed by the minute creates misaligned incentives. Lawyers are financially incentivized to take more time, and clients are never quite sure how much they’ll be paying or when they’ll be paying for a given service.

LawTrades is changing that with their project-based legal platform, so you’ll be given a set price for the service you need, and a highly skilled lawyer will work with you until its finished. No hidden fees, full transparency upfront.

The reason this works on the lawyers’ side is because while many legal tasks are arduous and complex, the vast majority of legal contracts don’t stray too far from boilerplate. Lawyers aren’t starting from zero when they’re drawing up a contract, most terms and clauses can be recycled from one contract to the next.

When it comes to legal work, like in most industries, customers pay for history; they’re more than happy to pay additional money for the reputation and accountability of a top-tier law firm with a killer client list. I get that — I really do, but I believe that a kick-ass and transparent user experience can often win out over the fear-based “I just don’t want to accidentally wake up in a tub of ice with no kidneys after signing this”. I’m not sure that last sentence connects with the rest of the paragraph, but I’m leaving it.

Also, Raad Ahmed and Ashish Walia may look harmless in that picture, but they’re a couple of savages who feed on happy users and growth. Try not to look them directly in the eyes.

Follow Draper Associates on Twitter at @drapervc

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