What do a free-roaming wild dog and those who practice the law have in common? We connected with Lawdingo Founder Nikhil Nirmel to find out this and more about his new legal tech start-up recently featured on TechCrunch.
Makes It Easy To Find And Instantly Consult A Lawyer Online”
–Nov 09, 2012, TechCrunch
Nancy Patterson: Nikhil, What is Lawdingo?
Nikhil Nirmel: Lawdingo is a legal platform through which people can talk to lawyers online. We facilitate virtual legal consultations by video, chat phone or email. Lawdingo makes it really easy for people to get and pay for legal advice from lawyers in their state, and it allows attorneys to get paid for engaging potential new clients in their state.
NP: Can you tell us how you got the idea?
NN: I had a situation where I needed to talk to a lawyer, relating to an employment contract, but for some reason I dreaded the process of going to a lawyer’s office.
The lawyer who ended up being available suggested we just talk over Skype for the initial conversation. It worked extremely well, which made me wonder why this wasn’t the standard mode of operation for lawyers.
I also put two and two together from the two companies I’ve worked at, Yodle and Yelp. Yodle was focused primarily on bringing new business to lawyers and other small businesses, and Yelp was focused primarily on making the “search for a local business” process fun and effective for consumers.
NP: How did you choose Lawdingo for the company name?
NN: Ha! Well, I wanted a name that would be memorable and at odds with the stodgy reputation of the “old world” of law.
Also, dingoes are smart, clever and quick animals whose perceived aggressive reputation often overshadows their true intelligence and resourcefulness. Kind of like a certain profession, though maybe that’s taking the metaphor too far.
NP: Maybe, but it sure is memorable. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
NN: I’m 26, I live in San Francisco, and I love web businesses. I did my undergrad at Penn’s Wharton School in Philadelphia, worked at local online marketing company [Yodle] and at local online search company [Yelp]. I play drums.
NP: Launching a legal tech start-up can be challenging. What has been the most challenging part for you thus far?
NN: Staying confident in the vision has been challenging. It’s easy to self-doubt.
NP: What has been the most rewarding?
NN: Seeing a product come to life from what was originally a vague idea has been awesome. Thousands of people have used Lawdingo to get their legal matters resolved.
NP: Impressive to already have thousands of Lawdingo users. Congratulations! I’d also be interested to know how litigators specifically might benefit from Lawdingo?
NN: Litigators often don’t care about charging for consultations, and they don’t have to. It’s just as easy to indicate that you offer free consultations. As such, litigators can benefit from getting inbound inquiries from potential clients. They also get a presence on the web with which they can handle appointments, listing of fees, and consultations.
NP: Please tell us how lawyers can learn more and get involved with Lawdingo.