How Josef Legal Is Increasing Access to Justice For Australians

In a lot of cases, the amount of legal knowledge and legal defense you get will help you get the outcome you want no matter the dispute.

Unfortunately, legal advice can come with quite the price tag. That’w where the new chatbot Josef Legal comes in.

Josef Legal works by connecting lawyers with potential clients who have questions and concerns. It’s part of what makes the new age of technology so exciting for people across all industries.

Earlier this week, the BucketOrange legal blog sat down with Josef Legal co-founder Sam Flynn to talk about what this new chatbot brings to the legal table.

When asked how it works, Flynn was clear and concise.

“On our no-coding-required platform, legal organisations can build and launch their own chatbots without the need for expensive developers,” he said. “These chatbots can help people resolve a legal problem, including by preparing a personalised document for them (such as a letter or agreement). Because all of these interactions are automated, it allows legal organisations to provide their services at scale.”

Flynn and his partners came up with the idea for Josef Legal when they were asked to find a way to use new technology to increase access to those with justice issues. It wasn’t long before the solution to that problem became a chatbot that connects those with knowledge to those who need it.

How many Australians need legal assistance? According to research, nearly 9 million, but under half of them actually end up seeking legal counsel due to the price.

And it’s not just helpful for those in need of legal assistance. As Josef Legal’s site expresses, it’s an opportunity for lawyers as well.

“But legal technology doesn’t just empower us to bridge the access to justice gap, it is also an unprecedented opportunity for the legal industry to modernise,” it reads. “This allows lawyers to unlock value in untapped markets, streamline their organisations and prepare for a changing industry.

“That is why Josef works with a variety of teams across the US, Europe and Australia, including community legal centres, government, plaintiff and commercial firms and in-house legal teams.”

Overall though, Josef Legal is meant to help the clients first.

“Josef’s utility is to allow legal organisations to automate and scale legal services, streamline their organisations and connect with potential and current clients,” Flynn said.

“For community legal centres, this allows them to help as many people as possible, particularly in the face of a disconnect between increasing demand and decreasing funding. For law firms, this allows them to help more people while also letting them access a huge, unaddressed market, which in the US alone is valued at USD$50B.”

Basically, the more potential clients that lawyers can reach, the more help those who would have otherwise not reached out to lawyers are getting. It also allows firms to potentially charge less if they do begin working with clients they were paired with on Josef Legal because they are spending less time and money to find the clients they would like to represent.

As Flynn expressed, this chatbot has been made in the hopes that it will not only help those in need of legal counsel, but lawyers who are looking to bolster their client roster and tapped untapped markets as well.

So far, the response from those in the legal industry has been “extraordinary,” according to Flynn.

The early success of Josef Legal has surprised some, according to Flynn due to the fact that the legal industry is known to be an incredibly traditional one world wide. But it is impossible to deny ingenious innovation.

For Flynn and his partners, their success didn’t come as a shock. For them, the need for the legal industry to modernize and utilize technology the right way has been clear for years.

Thanks to their early success, those at Josef Legal are already looking towards their next steps.

“In the long-term, we want to change the way that legal services are provided to ensure that people get help whenever and wherever they need it,” Flynn said. “We want to get to the stage where people who have a legal problem seek legal assistance, just like people who have a health problem see a doctor.”

Perhaps the best aspect of the chatbot is that is is flexible based on the needs of the potential client and desires of the firm they’re put in contact with.

Not only can the counsel be free, as it was originally intended to be, there are also ways for firms to charge their clients, making it a multi-tiered and multi-functional chatbot.

It’s pretty incredible how technology has changed the way people work, but until now lawyers have behaved the same for years.

With the advent of companies like Josef Legal, it seems the legal profession is finally starting to catch up.

It will be fascinating where this and other tech-dependent legal companies go from here.

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