Can you tell me a little about Rocket Lawyer: its history, mission and where you are right now?
Rocket Lawyer is a 5-year-old company and the most widely used legal service in the world. We have 200 employees and operate both in the US and in the UK. More than 30 million people use Rocket Lawyer every year. It’s a very simple application that enables people and companies to do all their legal procedures: get advice from attorneys, create and sign legal documents and archive important files, all from your mobile. Our mission is to make law affordable and simple. Most businesses are underserved by the law, because of the complexity of legal procedures and the high costs of having a lawyer. Today, we help more than 3 million business, which for the most part are startups: we incorporate them, help them with their hiring process, put every important step in writing, etc.
It seems that many of your clients are startups and entrepreneurs. Why do they choose you and how do you help them?
We created Rocket Lawyer to make law accessible to everyone. Our app is simple to use, accessible from any device, from anywhere and puts people in contact with lawyers near them, who answer their question and help them throughout their legal procedures.
Complex laws and legal obligations can discourage people from starting their business. How does Rocket Lawyer help with this?
Our application can definitely help inspire people to start their company. In only 10 minutes you can incorporate your business. Creating a company involves a lot of legal admin: you need contracts, you need to put things in writing, store them in the cloud and we guide you through all these procedures. Building a viable business is difficult enough; at least you won’t have to worry about the legal part, which is not where you should put your time and energy.
In the next 10 years, how do you picture the future of the legal industry?
The legal system is broken. It doesn’t scale to the billions of transactions that the modern economy needs. It’s still very archaic: long and complex documents and procedures, paper contracts… Today the legal system doesn’t support the modern economy. Businesses are fast, agile and have no geographical boundaries. Over the next 10-20 years, legal services will be digitalised, as it has happened with other industries.
How about the future of law itself? What’s your take on the disruption of the legal industry?
Law should adapt to economic and societal changes, not the other way around. Take the sharing economy services, such as Airbnb or Über for instance. The law regarding these new types of exchange and consumption is currently inadequate. Über created the environment for change, and they were right to do so. In a democracy, you don’t have to obey every law. Rather, you have to obey the good ones and change the bad ones, and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about. Regular people see the world as it is, entrepreneurs see the world as it should be. If you want to succeed, you have to be prepared to fight for what you want to do.
A degree could cost up to £30,000 in Europe, should students invest in starting up rather than education?
It really depends. If you have a vision that does not lead to education, you should not waste your most precious resource, time, to pursue a degree that you won’t use. But in many cases, passion does lead to education. If you want to start a business in the legal field, for instance, a law degree might come in handy! Don’t play it safe for the sake of it; go where your passion leads you. In either case, time will pass, and time will tell.