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Lawger.com
Location: Eugene, Oregon, United States United States
Founded in: 2014
Stage: Revenue generating
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 02/2015, Accelerator/Incubator: $9 k
Short URL: vator.co/lawger-com
Followers (14)
Awards and mentions
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The Colligan User Interface Design Challenge seeks to inspire University of Oregon students from all programs and classes to create a novel graphic user interface (GUI). This event will result in teams presenting their final concepts/products to a panel of prospective investors and industry leaders. Based on the panel’s selections, prize money will be handed out to the winner and runner up teams. The challenge was inspired and sponsored by mobile technology pioneer Ed Colligan (UO ’83) and is presented by the University of Oregon Office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education.
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The RAINMaker Fund rewards and encourages student-entrepreneurs who demonstrate true entrepreneurial talent by proactively starting a business.
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Lawger.com

Competitive bids from lawyers, on demand.
Startup/business
Eugene, Oregon, United States United States
http://Lawger.com

Lawger was created to make legal help as easy and affordable as possible. Lawger's technology connects clients and lawyers efficiently through a market based system and empowers both parties with data-driven tools to ensure that legal issues are resolved quickly, affordably, and intuitively.

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Company description

Lawger is an online marketplace for simple legal help. Our technology turns the lawyer hiring process into a reverse-auction marketplace where lawyers compete for client business. Clients are empowered with data-driven tools to guide their legal decisions and can objectively choose a winner for their job at a fair price.

So what's the big idea? 


Over 50% of middle class Americans and 80% of low income earners have one or more legal problems and no access to an attorney. What's worse, most of the issues affecting people are legally routine—any lawyer could solve these problems quickly and affordably. The end result? Regular people don't get help, lawyers don't work, and the law evolves only in favor of those powerful enough to hire legal teams. 

"The law" changes and evolves many different ways—it is commonly understood to evolve through statutes and congressional acts, but it also changes in a largely overlooked way: through legal precedent. Think of it this way: when congress passes an act, it gives the public an "off the rack suit" that gets tailored by disputes being resolved through the court system. For that reason, the cases that tailor the law are hugely important. 

We realize that every case and every legal question has the possibility of advancing the law. We are building the largest markeplace of legal problems on Earth—not only connecting people to affordable legal help efficiently and empowering them with the benefits of the justice they are owed, but structuring a dissaggregated collection of tremendously valuable data.

Where's the team? 


Lawger has a number of commited team members that will join our team publically at a prenegotiated junction. Their names are witheld. 


Lawger from Lawger on Vimeo.


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Team
  • Alec Hankins
    Alec Hankins | Team member
    JD 2015 at the University of Oregon School of Law, Managing Editor of the Oregon Law Review. Humanist, humorist, surfer...ist.
Business model

Lawger charges a transaction fee for cases processed through our escrow system. Clients are not charged for this service. Lawyers may buy memberships that effectively purchases bulk transactions at lower rates. 

Competitive advantage

First mover advantage with a business model that exploits recent changes in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct related to the solicitation and provision of legal services. 

 

Q&A


1) How many lawyers do you have on the platform?

We are launched in the State of Oregon and have ~100 registered lawyers, which would make us, if we were a law firm, one of the top 5 largest in the state. 

2) Why would they want to do this, particularly in a reverse-auction platform?

One of the most difficult tasks for a lawyer searching for new clients is wading through the negotiations—clients are bountiful, but paying clients are more difficult to find. The auction system allows everyone to "cut to the chase" and see what everyone wants to accomplish and what it is worth to them.

3) Isn't this a "race to the bottom"?

No. All the bidding is sealed, which means that only the client can see what prices are coming in. The lawyers are thus encouraged to give an honest and accurate bid, not to undercut their competitors. 

4) How much do you understand about reverse auctions because they don't necessarily work that well. Can you explain why you believe this model works for this process?

Construction projects, software development, and even voice-overs opperate on a bidding system. The reverse auction has been used for a nearly a millenia to sell grain, flowers, cattle, you name it—it's the most efficient way to match people's willingness to buy and sell at an agreed upon rate. 

Legal help is especially ripe for disruption through a reverse auction system because, although the legal issues are often commonplace, lawyers as individuals are all quite unique. As a consumer you don't need "an" attorney you need the right attorney. Using the bidding system, you will have the autonomy and power of choice to find the right person for the job, who may or may not be in your immediate local area.  Instead of randomly dialing people from the Yellow Pages in San Francisco, you might be able to find a semi-retired expert in Lake Tahoe who takes your sort of cases for fun and charges reasonable rates.  

5) In a related question, why a reverse-auction vs just lawyers posting their fees and consumers selecting the lawyers?

Because hourly rates are only one piece of the puzzle. The cost of the service is rate x time,  so hiring the lowest rate lawyer is not always the best (or cheapest) strategy. Inexperienced lawyers may bill at lower rates but will take more time to get the job done, and ultimately cost more. It is better to know what the price will be out the door. Of course, every legal question is atleast somewhat nuanced, so the bidding system lets everyone come to a custom agreement. 

6) How will you start getting more lawyers on the platform?

Fortunately, attracting lawyers has not been a serious challenge. We have pre-made lawyer accounts and have invited lawyers directly to claim their profiles. This model has been successful in Oregon and we will continue to do so in other jurisdictions. 

7) Are you focusing on any particular type of legal issues?

Not necessarily. We have a tremenous amount of data regarding the most common legal issues people experience—financial, tax, real estate, family, minor crime/DUI—but we do not have enough information to extrapolate that we should only focus on DUI, for example. We instead are focusing on building tools for the most common issues and making "big funnels" to capture those portions of the legal population. 

8) Have you had any successful transactions?

No. We have only been soft-launched for the public for  a week or so, so we have not had a complete transaction yet. All of the cases are still open for bidders. 

9) There are many law platforms out there - JustAnswers does a great job offering lawyers to answer questions for $15 or $50. How is your platform different or better?

Importantly, Lawger provides you with real advice from lawyers who are accountable to their state bars. Lawyers are obligated to live up to very stringent quality requirements, so using a resource like JustAnswers will not provide you the same piece of mind that true legal advice will. 

However, there are legal websites that have similar structures. However, if you dig a little deeper you will find that these are marketing folds—you will ultimately have to pay $300 per hour for additional service and will only get bids from lawyers who pay to be a part of the referral generation service. Lawger is free for lawyers, so competition is paramount.