California – November 29, 2018 – JustVice is bringing the power of automation and artificial intelligence to the legal world with an industry-specific digital communications and service platform. The service goes beyond the competition to not just offer lawyers another platform to market themselves and clients an opportunity to rate lawyers, but it is focused on transforming the consumer experience in getting legal advice.
“Our vision is that JustVice will finally make legal advice accessible and affordable for the global “rest” when they need it, while also providing a viable outlet for hundreds of thousands of lawyers to compete in what has become a flooded industry,” describes Patrick Schwientek, JustVice’s co-founder and CTO.
According to recent UN studies, 80% of consumer civil legal needs are unmet, while at the same time, a large number of lawyers in OECD countries are under- or completely unemployed. That reality means that millions of potential consumers are not consuming and hundreds of thousands of potential earners are not earning.
The reason for this market imbalance is simple – there is just no effective, affordable and transparent way for consumers to get legal advice today. The legal industry is stuck in an outdated physical human-to-human sales and service model with extremely high entry barriers. The model is expensive for lawyers to maintain and hence drives prices for legal consult prohibitively upward. At the same time, consumers find engaging with a lawyer too manual, time consuming and at times even intimidating.
The legal industry’s application of business model and technological innovations is radically behind in comparison to other professional service industries, such as finance. The extent of innovation applied throughout the $900 billion industry is implementation of e-mail and internet-based communication channels and simple automation of documents and practice workflows. The few cases where industry players utilize more advanced technology, like artificial intelligence, are small scale and applicable mainly to niche markets. To date, there is no other comprehensive service that focuses on innovating the way consumers get legal advice through a platform that integrates communication simplification, automation and intelligence innovations for this business problem.
The result is an ever growing imbalance between consumer’s legal advice demand and the supply lawyers’ offer. While the market of people that need legal services continues to grow, overall profit and revenue of lawyers keeps declining. With the Millennials generation, being used to “digital instant everything”, becoming the dominant consumer market in the next decade, this challenge will only accelerate. Lawyers have to adapt to buyers’ changing needs. Already today, some researchers suggest that new legal professionals graduating in North America and Europe only have around a 40% likelihood of finding employment.
At the same time, millions of potential consumers that want to purchase legal services do not do so because either the perceived or real cost of doing so, as well as the overall entry barriers, are too high. A 2016 British study of more than 8,000 people, the largest ever of its kind, identified that though 54 percent of people had a legal issue that year, only a third sought legal advice and only half of those consultations ended up in the purchase of legal services. Issues for legal needs range from designing wills, contracts, divorce papers and a wide range of issues that are important and sometimes critical personal and business concerns.
“That is why we are dedicating ourselves to this project,” discusses Moritz von Butler, JustVice’s co-founder and CEO. “By elevating the legal industry to the next technological level with a consumer focused platform, we can finally make legal consultation accessible and affordable for all who need it while helping the legal profession to adapt to the changing reality. Never before have I seen such a clear win-win for a service industry and its consumer market alike.”
The centerpiece of JustVice is a state of the art connection interface that simplifies the entire service and sales process to remove entry barriers and drive down cost. Consumers connect to the best lawyer for their needs with an intelligent search that integrates lawyer ratings, reviews and price comparisons. Once a consumer has selected a lawyer, the platform provides digital assistance to the lawyer to book an appointment and provide the first levels of advice and communication with fully digital video and voice communication channels. Throughout the case work period, lawyers and clients alike are supported with digital document exchange and a messaging hub that tracks all conversations. Furthermore, an online payment gateway streamlines accounting and administration for lawyers in one central space. A communications integration layer funnels multiple communication channels into one workspace.
These core features are being launched for free for consumers in January 2019. Our aim is to avoid further driving up legal costs, but to reduce them, therefore, we charge a minimal fee from lawyers and will even offer our service for them for free during the introduction phase. Consumers will be able to pay for a lawyer’s services through the platform, but JustVice does not take a fee from those transactions.
“Our unique business model ensures that both consumers and lawyers get real value out of our service,” explains von Butler. “Lawyers will be charged a minimal monthly fee, helping them to keep costs down, while they can use our services. They will have additional options to purchase marketing and analytics services from JustVice as well.”
JustVice vision for the future is to enable self-service legal advice for consumers, powered by the latest automation and artificial intelligence technology, natural language processing and machine learning. This will empower consumers to get immediate and highly affordable answers to basic legal needs, while legal professionals can focus on providing answers to more complex problems.
JustVice formed specifically to address this identified market niche from a base in California, USA and Wroclaw, Poland. Patrick Schwientek and Moritz von Butler are the co-founders of JustVice, developing JustVice after identifying a gap in legal services access from years of high level professional experience across EU, US and global markets. They are both technology and change experts, having dedicated their careers to enabling automation, digitalization and operational excellence through technology innovation.
Moritz and Patrick are partnering with an advisory board of highly experienced lawyers for JustVice, working to respond from and in concert with industry specialists in a collaborative innovation model.
If you would like more information about JustVice, please contact Moritz von Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org