As long as tech is concerned, the legal sector in Nigeria remains one of the least explored. As a result, there aren’t a lot of startups disrupting the sector like elsewhere, say Fintech or Edtech. In the legaltech space, startups like DIYlaw, Legitng and LawPadi are among the incredibly few ones innovating in the sector.
But there’s a new one on the block and its name is nLegal. I had quite the interaction with one of its founders, Akinyemi Ogidan Esquire as he took me into the intricacies of the startup and what they planned to offer.
“We want to bring lawyer and client closer to each other in any place they may be in Nigeria, then Africa as a whole”. (nlegal’s mission statement)Barrister Akinyemi
In the beginning….
According to Akinyemi, nlegal started as a desire to replicate in Nigeria the kind of services found on foreign legal sites like lawguru. This deep consideration and analysis of these foreign platforms led to the realisation that there is actually a large vacuum in Nigeria as regards access to lawyers, law firm directories among other things.”
“nlegal was first a fragment of my imagination during my third year at the University, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko in 2013,” Akinyemi said. “I was fascinated with some online law platforms such as LawGuru.com and Rocketlawyer.”
At the moment, nLegal, has a web platform complete with details that allow people to call or email for lawyer recommendations from anywhere in the country. The web platform is the official website for the organization. According to Akinyemi, part of the services rendered by nLegal is document review which comes at no cost to the client.
In 2016, Akinyemi met Funmilola Afolayan, and together they co-founded the nLegal platform.
While the bulk of the NLegal’s offering is currently in the works. He listed the services that would set the startup apart from its peers.
- Talk to a lawyer
- Law directories of all lawyers in Nigeria
- Lawyer profile and rating
- Lawyer and client chatbox (to book appointments and to discuss legal issues)
- Virtual office for lawyer’s case management.
“We are planning to self-develop our App which will enable us include all the features I mentioned above, for now we can be reached on our website and social media page (@nlegal5),” Barrister Akinyemi said.
I asked about the startups challenges and why its services were not all available yet. Akinyemi replied that the entire services would be rendered on a mobile app which is scheduled for launch later in the year. He also mentioned funding as a major challenge, stressing that the startup is currently at a fundraising phase and welcoming investors.
Another major problem the startup has is getting the right software developers that could interpret the NLegal vision as a mobile app.
“The developers couldn’t replicate the ideas we had, such as Talk to a lawyer, law directories of all lawyers in Nigeria, lawyer profile and rating, data algorithms, and the lawyer and client chatbox (to book appointments and to discuss legal issues), and lawyer’s virtual office for case management.”Barrister Akinyemi Ogidan
According to the barrister, the LegalTech startup intends to make money while rendering services. He explained that the organization hopes to make profit by affiliating with other foreign sites. It also hopes to attract advertisements and specific law firm ads, as well as subscription fees from lawyers to use the virtual office on the nLegal app.
“We are pushing for 6 months free usage after the launch of our app, afterwards lawyers are to pay a token of #2000 monthly. Their will be the option for a cumulative one year plan as well.”Barrister Akinyemi Ogidan
A number of people consider access to lawyers and legal advice luxury sport. More and more legaltech, startups are working to bridge the gap by virtually putting lawyers in a mobile app that is closer and accessible to people, this is nlegal’s mission.
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