Dutch Uber For Lawyers, Legal Sprint, To Expand

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Created as an on-demand lawyer service for startups & companies, Legal Sprint is now ready to expand. Founder Olaf Kruisinga shares the plan for success:

How would you describe Legal Sprint in a few words?

Legal Sprint provides on-demand legal services for startups by connecting them instantly with one of our over 100 qualified lawyers. Always the best lawyer for your case.

What inspired you to create the platform? How did it all start?

Let me ask you a question. Where do you start when you are looking for a lawyer for a specific task in your company? Up to now, most startups rely on a law firm they know or a lawyer they have done business with in the past. But is this firm or this lawyer your best choice for a specific task or a specific legal case? In our legal practice we have seen that companies were using top law firms for relatively simple tasks and on the other hand, they were using lawyers that did not have the best experience in a specific case.

We wanted to take the search for a lawyer to the next level, by making it possible to hire the best lawyer for your specific case, with the right experience to provide you the best advice. So, depending on the questions or case you have, we connect you to the best lawyer on-demand.

You’ve been called the “Dutch Uber for lawyers” previously. Do you think that description fits your services?

Yes, and we like the comparison. Like Uber, Legal Sprint is all about on-demand services. When you need a ride, you tell Uber what you need and they provide you with a driver. With Legal Sprint, whatever your legal needs are, you ask us your legal question or tell us about your case and we will instantly start working for you to connect you to the right lawyer.

Especially startups have a need for valid legal advice, making it available throughout. What makes Legal Sprint stand out of the crowd? What is the key differentiator?

Indeed, especially startups have a lot of different legal questions, for example on IP rights, company formation, NDA’s or contracts with investors. As a startup ourselves we believe that together with other startups we can grow stronger. We are always open to learn from other startups and to share our knowledge. In fact, one of our first actions was a limited offer to give selected startups the chance to obtain three months of phone support for free, in order for us to learn about the different needs that startups have and to further prove our concept. What makes us stand out from other law firms is that we can offer on-demand advice from specialists on all the different legal aspects a startup faces.

What’s the most considerable pivoting maneuver that the team has undertaken throughout the journey so far?

Before launching our platform, we have put a lot of effort in doing it ‘right the first time’. There was a long process in defining what services we would offer and to whom. During that process, several concepts were developed, evaluated and dismissed. A subscription based model, for example, did not seem fit, because we wanted to keep Legal Sprint completely on-demand.

Furthermore, we have excluded consumers and offer our services only to startups and companies, since we and our lawyers are all experienced in advising SME’s and larger corporations. Pricing was another item: Since we wanted full convenience for our customers, all our lawyers have to offer their services at the same hourly rate and we have successfully negotiated that. So, indeed again like Uber, no matter who offers the services, you know what the rate will be up front.

Are you using Legal Sprint internally? How does that affect the viewpoints in the development team?

We are of course always trying to improve our services. So we keep track of every legal case that is presented to us and the services we have provided. This means that not only we are improving our selection process in providing the right lawyer, but we also evaluate the provided services afterward. We evaluate the speed in which a case is handled and we evaluate the legal quality of the work that has been provided.

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced?

Since we work with over 100 lawyers, a big challenge was selecting the right lawyers, negotiate rates and connecting them to Legal Sprint. However, the biggest challenge we have faced, and still face, is growth. Now that we have the lawyers in place, we want to connect as many companies as possible to Legal Sprint. So, our first goal was to get our message out there and then provide our legal services to as many users as possible. We have created a very scalable platform so the next challenge for Legal Sprint will be to expand.

What is the most memorable moment throughout the history of Legal Sprint?

Well, that’s not really a moment but more of an achievement. I am very proud that we were able to bootstrap the process of creating our platform completely from the first idea to launch, without external investments and within a period of just three months. When launching an idea, timing is essential. At the moment the momentum for legal startups is perfect, given the global interest in startups that change the way that legal services are provided. So for us, it was of the essence to move fast, produce a solid platform and stay agile all at the same time. It makes me proud that we have achieved this.

If there is one thing you could wish for in improving the European startup ecosystem – what would it be?

For me, one single word stands out and that is access. Providing a good startup ecosystem means we would have to focus on giving startups the easiest access to the services they need. That means providing easy access to workplaces, government grants, investors, qualified workers, possible clients, research facilities etc. So, when thinking of improving the European startup ecosystem in my opinion all initiatives should have to be measured by they ease they way to access services startups need.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

Well, good question. There’s a lot of things I could tell fellow founders since we have launched other successful companies in the past. But I think that there is one thing that goes for all companies you start. If you have an idea and you think you can make a business out of it, just go for it. Don’t hesitate or get stuck in the details.

As a lawyer myself, I’m trained in thinking trough all possible scenarios and focusing on what can go wrong. When starting a business, however, you have to do the exact opposite: see the chances, do not focus too much on everything that can go wrong and just get out there and make your idea work. Take it from someone who really has had to learn how to do this…



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