What is Legal Tech and How does it affect Indian Business Ecosystem ?
In this article we will not be talking about search engines that lets users search case laws, I agree it is also a stem of legal tech but it is not something with which you are unfamiliar with.
Legal tech is not something related only to attorneys, judges or law students. Legal tech are the technologies which affect all areas of law in every imaginable kind of business.
DO NOT Misunderstand, legal tech is not some sort of technology which will replace lawyers or solve all your legal problems just with the touch of a finger on your smartphone. It is merely a bridge connecting businesses to legal information and procedures. It is a tool designed to facilitate research, communication, sharing and accessing information with ease.
The Indian business ecosystem is the perfect incubator for nurturing technology in the legal industry. There have been attempts made by legal-tech startups like Akosha, Term Sheet and Lawyered etc., but the ocean of legal tech industries is yet to be dived into deep.
There are mainly two reasons as to why can the legal tech industry evolve into a billion bucks industry. Firstly, it is mostly unexplored. There is a need of one stop solutions to all legal issues from all the around the globe. Most of the small businesses and startups in India usually get stuck in the legal ooze, because of the simple reason that most of these businesses and startups are established and run by inexperienced young individuals who lack the knowledge and sources to deal with intricate legal trammels. They need real time solutions, perhaps a platform where they can access legal information on any context. Such a platform will also be a boon for attorneys. Secondly, India is first in the world to provide open and secure API access for participation in its citizen service schemes. This policy provides the access to what was hitherto the property of govt. data – called the ‘India Stack’.
This API provides e-KYC, e-sign, digitized aadhar information and digital lockers. Imagine signing contracts with e-sign, not having to type any for your details because of the power of digital aadhar technology, saving your legal documents in digital lockers. With the development of legal tech in India, the business ecosystem will become a paperless and cashless industry. The legal tech industry will connect the clients to attorneys and vice versa. Businesses will be able to expand. The legal affairs will no more be formidable.
Visualization is the key here. Entrepreneurs need to visualize a system where access to the knowledge of law will be easy. A system which will allow everyone to understand how does the law work. And I am not just talking about Indian laws, they shall be able to look up for laws of other countries, international laws and other laws which previously were only known to lawyers of the specific interests. BUT this system shall not be limited only to theoretical knowledge. It should be able to put the knowledge to use, because "knowledge is not power, its application is". They should be able to make and sign e-contracts, fill up KYCs and submit legal documents to any court .
The aim is to create a legal system which is easy to interact with and make people understand that is your guardian, it is not something you should run away from.
Nurturing the Indian legal tech industry shall not be of much difficulty. India has a lot of skillful professionals. And the Indian masses will not face any issues with the emerging technologies because Indians can adapt to new technologies very quickly. India is already a base of 400 million plus user who access internet via smart phone. With the India stack being an inchoate and yearning to be exploited resource, there lies unimaginable potential for the growth of this industry. Moreover, the establishment of this new industry will in turn increase employment opportunities both in the legal and IT industry.
More paralegals, attorneys, researchers, coders, developers and designers will be able to get jobs. Students and professionals possessing multiple skills both in the field of law and IT, will be able to put them in use and actually make a difference to the world.
Development of Legal Tech may help startups get a clearer head start for their businesses. And less space for confusions regarding legal matters will allow them to focus more on their specialized products or services. Moreover, It will help students, attorneys, judges and even a layman achieve an edge in their legal quests. The Indian Business Ecosystem will become smoother and stutter a little less than before.
The Indian legal system and business will evolve into a fluid, transparent, efficient and continuously expanding one and in will yield great returns, provided that is given enough juice.
- What's an API ? API stands for Application Program Interface. It is a collection of tools and information for building a software.
- E-KYC ? KYC stands for Know Your Customer. KYC forms are used by businesses to verify their clients or customers. They are mostly used by banks.
- What's an Aadhaar Card ? Aadhar Cards are Unique Identification Cards issued by the Govt. of India. It has the holder's bio-metric information, address, DOB, father's name and a unique aadhaar number.
Do you think India needs to focus more on it's legal technologies ?
© 2016 Siddhant Pandey