Legal Apps and the Question of Efficiency

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In an era of rapid digitalisation and technological innovation, it is no question that entrepreneurs are looking to capitalise on existing essential industries.

Despite reluctance from senior lawyers, who are often risk-averse and set in the ways of traditional legal method, there is a growing legal tech industry here in Malaysia. The younger generation has embraced the disruption, with initiatives such as TechLaw Fest in Singapore, LawTech Malaysia SUPERNOVA summit and the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP) creating positive promotion for the industry.

Technology is infiltrating the legal profession and making administrative processes more efficient. Thus, potentially reducing the cost of legal services for the average citizen.

This belief resonates with founders of legal tech apps such as EasyLaw. June Low talks to NewsHubAsia about why she was inspired to build EasyLaw, a Malaysia-based start-up that services members of the legal profession and the public in need.

“At the time we started the company in 2017, we were inspired by tech companies such as Uber. I’m from an e-commerce background, so me and a few friends were chatting about which industries could be drastically changed by a technology introduction.”

One of the app’s main features is a calculation tool that helps lawyers and property investors instantly calculate legal fees, stamp duties and real property gains tax for property transactions. Other tools include a land search provider and digitised access to statutes and rules of law for all areas of property law.

Low recognised a gap in the market where Asia has experienced slower growth than Australia and the United States when it comes to strides in legal technology.

“Technology is not introduced when one is studying to become a lawyer because there is a lot of documentation involved. Everything is written and manually done on paper. So, there is no concept of technology being introduced in the curriculum. We were thinking of ways to help lawyers increase their productivity and efficiency.”

EasyLaw increases cost efficiency by reducing the amount of time a lawyer must spend on administrative tasks. Subsequently, this allows them to spend more time addressing the needs of their client.

Legal apps can also directly service members of the public by assisting them to find lawyers. Due to Malaysia’s strict legal practice rules, lawyers are not allowed to advertise their services. Therefore, individuals must often turn to family or friends to refer them to a suitable legal practitioner. Apps such as LawCanvas require you to fill in a form with your specific legal needs and they will assign you a lawyer that meets the relevant criteria.

As for the future of EasyLaw, Low reveals that they intend to expand the services they can provide to their clients. They will continue to create administrative solutions for lawyers that will enable them to increase their productivity within the time constraints of the job.

“We want to make sure that our solutions are on trend for this pool of clients we are servicing and who trust us – what other solutions can we provide for them to improve their daily operations.”