Before founding grocery-delivery app Instacart, Apoorva Mehta had tried and failed to create a social network for lawyers. The reason for his troubles, he would later reflect, was that lawyers “don’t like technology, and they don’t like to share things.” While other professions have been completely transformed by technology, the day-to-day practices of lawyers have remained largely the same.
UpCounsel, a three-year-old startup based in San Francisco, has been attempting to change that by offering lawyers a different way to work. The company has created a marketplace where businesses can go and connect with high-quality attorneys for specific tasks. While not quite an “Uber for lawyers,” it does offer both sides some of the same benefits. Businesses can get reliable, a-la-carte legal services remotely delivered at a discounted rate. Meanwhile attorneys get to focus on what they do best while UpCounsel handles their finances, lead generation, document management, and guarantees that they will be paid for their work. For the solo practitioners and small firms that make up their member base, handing off their administrative duties saves them an enormous amount of time.
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