Aaron George and Michael Chasin JD/MBA '13 are setting out to redefine the legal industry through their new company called LawKick. The entrepreneurs, who met while students at Loyola Law School, have created an innovative platform that makes legal services more accessible and affordable to the average consumer.
"The current market for legal services is inefficient," said George. "Many lawyers are starting their own practices and struggling to get clients, but it remains difficult for consumers to find a lawyer that meets their needs and budget. Our platform offers an efficient way for them to connect."
George and Chasin are both entrepreneurs at heart. George, who ended up leaving Loyola Law School to pursue his entrepreneurial endeavors full time, launched a successful iPhone app development company and Chasin founded and sold an event promotion business. Though neither was ever really passionate about practicing law, they discovered during law school that it's generally hard for people to find legal services that are both personalized and affordable.
"Getting my JD/MBA was absolutely imperative in giving me the skills to start a business," said Chasin. "Law school was valuable because it taught me all about contracts and the inner workings of the legal industry, and my MBA has been useful for networking and team building."
So how does it work? LawKick streamlines the process of finding a lawyer. Rather than having to spend time searching online, asking for referrals, or calling around, LawKick users can get in touch with several qualified lawyers in a matter of minutes. The process is simple:
- Users complete a brief questionnaire about their legal matter (the questionnaires cover almost everything – business/bankruptcy/criminal defense/immigration/divorce, etc.)
- Qualified lawyers receive notice and have the chance to review the users' information. If they're interested, they can contact the client on site and submit a bid, or price quote.
- Users then compare each lawyer's price, work experience, expertise, and reviews and can communicate through the platform before hiring.
The site is completely free to use, and most people get between 6-10 bids from different lawyers the same day they post their job. LawKick makes money by charging fees to the lawyers.
So far, George and Chasin say feedback from lawyers and clients has been very positive. They spend a lot of time talking to consumers and lawyers, and have refined the site to make it more engaging and user-friendly based on their feedback.
"A lot of people are in sticky situations, and finding a lawyer they can trust is difficult and stressful. It's nice to know that LawKick makes them feel more comfortable about the whole process," said George. "Also, the lawyers are able to get in contact with clients they would've never been exposed to otherwise. We're taking an age-old industry and getting people connected like never before. It's a win-win."
In the last few months, George and Chasin have raised $200,000 from private investors. The biggest challenge they've faced is marketing the product because their target audience is so broad. Eventually, they would like to roll out a nationwide marketing and PR campaign, but for now they're focused on raising awareness locally by blogging several times a day on legal topics, implementing social media campaigns, leading seminars, and attending conferences.
George and Chasin are also looking to expand the LawKick team. They recently hired a full-time developer and have an LMU student as an intern. They are hoping to bring on more tech-savvy people to assist with online marketing and web development. They wholeheartedly believe in their product and have already experienced the wonderful benefits of using the service themselves.
"We needed some financial documents for our company and decided to post the job on LawKick," said Chasin. "The lawyer we had worked with in the past quoted us $3,000, but we ended up getting the same documents for only $600, saving $2,400 in the process. We believe so much in our product that we use it ourselves!"