Startup Review: LegalTech Startup ‘Judy’ is Providing Access To Legal Research in Nigeria and Ghana
Judy Technologies is a legaltech startup that was founded in February 2018 by Bright Oleka, Sadiq Okocha, and Charles Thompson. It was the capstone project that was carried out by the three men at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana.
Judy’s unique legaltech solution
The solution itself is an artificial intelligence-based software that is used to manage, record, analyse and present legal data in an accessible way for the lawyers and other legal researchers.
Through its team, Judy (the software) is populated with past court cases and their judgements, editorial summaries of some of the cases as well as other instances where the cases have been cited. The software has been developed such that it is able to comprehend and respond to requests made in the natural language that lawyers use when speaking to each other.
A feature that allows virtual collaboration between lawyers is also in place on the legaltech platform. Judy allows two or more lawyers to work together on briefs from wherever they are using the android mobile app or the web app.
The LITE version of the mobile app was recently released for people with slow internet connectivity. It, therefore, provides them with swift access to all of Judy’s content.
The solution provided by the legaltech company through its software is that of quality and globally-accessible legal documents that are needed for comprehensive and worthwhile research.
Funding and pricing
Judy’s AI-based solution can be accessed on a subscription basis. There are different pricing plans for different categories of users. To use the legal research software, Law students are charged N1,700 for their first month and then afterwards, required to pay a monthly subscription fee of N700.
Lawyers who work solo are allowed access to Judy’s resource at a monthly subscription of N2,500, while there is the commonwealth plan for N3,500. The difference between the two plans is that the commonwealth plan gives access to legal data compiled from all countries where Judy operates now and in the future while the other does not.
The startup raised $100,000 from MEST on September 12, 2018. In June, the startup was announced as part of the 5th cohort of the Google startup accelerator Africa. As part of the cohort, Judy will undergo a series of training alongside other top seed-stage startups from Africa.
Competitors and what customers are saying
One of Judy’s competitors in the legaltech space in Nigeria is Legalpedia Nigeria Limited. This startup offers online legal research, courtroom automation services and court library digitization among others. Legalpedia has been in operation since 2007 and has gradually adapted technology into its research and other legal services.
In terms of pricing, Legalpedia has more diverse pricing than what Judy offers. It offers yearly online access to individuals for N43,000, yearly desktop access for N64,500, lifetime access for a one-time payment of N161,250 and a yearly renewal of N27,000 for updates. It also has provisions for enterprise who want to use its services.
Legalpedia also allows lawyers to carry out smart searches on legal cases and summaries in its repository. A major difference is that Legalpedia is only available in Nigeria while Judy is currently available in Nigeria and Ghana, and has plans to expand beyond the two African countries.
Judy’s legal customers are not public, however, a customer review found on the startup’s Twitter page showed a certain lawyer, Emeka Chigozie, expressing his satisfaction at the features of the software.
From the website of both Judy, and Legalpedia, the user interface portrays Judy as more tech-forward and innovative than the other. Its cross-continent goal for legal research and affordable pricing also gives it a unique advantage and makes it more valuable for its legal audience.
In conclusion, Judy’s solution provides unique value to legal practitioners and saves a lot of time and effort that would have been required to get the same value manually.
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