Please state your name, your position, and a bit of your Business.
Beatrice Teresa O’Brien, founder, chairman & CEO of Jus-Law, a patented internet platform and application software (approved and supported by Apple Inc.) that is a new paradigm for effectively procuring, providing and utilizing legal services.
How did the business start?
As having practiced as an Australian attorney myself, I saw firsthand that the task of securing the best legal services, from smaller firms to Wall Street firms, at competitive fees was often a confusing, hit-or-miss process for clients, including both individuals and businesses. Once a law firm has been selected and retained, the process tends to become even more opaque, with the client having at best a partial view of what’s going on, and the attorney having limited insight into the client’s needs and expectations. I saw the need to develop a digital platform to restore parity and transparency to the attorney-client relationship and transform it into a truly synergistic interaction.
What are the challenges you met and how did you manage to cope up with these challenges and reach your current status?
As an entrepreneur, you will have challenges every day and will have to think smartly and strategically on how to overcome them. Challenges can come in the form of competition or other companies trying to solve the same problems you are solving. In my case, there have been various internet platforms that have attempted to streamline attorney selection and interaction, but they have done so within the straitjacket of the conventional attorney-client relationship which engenders the problems mentioned above. What has been needed for a long time is a “game-changer” and I spent years making sure the Jus-Law platform differentiated itself from the other platforms in the legal space, which are largely one-sided, to truly solve the current problem of transparency in the attorney-client relationship.
Who influenced you in this industry and how did he/she influence you?
It’s really not he/she but at a very young age, I saw first-hand, what the law can do, both good and bad, to individuals, corporations, and small businesses. It made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in the legal industry and help in any way I could to make it better. I was also fortunate in my legal career to have worked with white-shoe Wall Street law firms on some major cases such as the era of Enron, Barings Bank, and some of Warren Buffet’s companies, as well as with high-profile firms and partners on mergers & acquisitions.
How did you manage to market your business and compete with other agencies in your niche?
The key to competing with other businesses, as I said earlier, is to make sure your product or service is different from what is already available and on the market. One example of how we are doing that is the Jus-Law platform tracks all attorney-client communications and documents using state-of-the-art blockchain technology. Rather than having to rely on intermittent updates from legal counsel, the client has continuous, immediate access to the complete file and can follow its progress in real-time and with total transparency from start to finish.
From the client’s perspective, the Jus-Law platform ensures the best-fit for legal services, in terms of a law firm’s qualifications, experience, resources, and fees. It does so by structuring an interactive competitive bidding process, in which participating law firms submit proposals in response to a client’s request for representation and communicate with prospective clients through the platform’s messaging and chat features.
From the law firm’s perspective, the Jus-Law platform breaks down the barriers between the “rain-makers” and the practicing attorneys and between practicing attorneys, staff, and clients, making workflow more intuitive and results-oriented. The hierarchal bottlenecks that constrain creativity in conventional firm practice are overcome by a platform that actually levels the “playing field” and encourages cross-pollination of ideas.
What Best Practice/s can you share to our startup readers?
When starting up a business, there are so many legal issues that might arise and you may not yet have an in-house attorney that can handle all different areas of the law. Finding the right attorney, particularly when starting up, can make a material impact on the future of your company. You will want to find an attorney who is knowledgeable and is comfortable with the amount of risk a startup might need to take in order to be disruptive. You will want an attorney that does not believe in “one size fits all” and is a creative thinker – while also being mindful of budget and fees.
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