Digitization is creeping in even in sectors which have historically been perceived as untouchable by technology. One such area is the legal world. Of course, technology/digitization hasn’t yet got crazy to the point of having robot lawyers, but technology is now popping up in the workflow of the legal world.
LawBasket is a platform that has just emerged in Zimbabwe and Africa to confirm that lawyers are ready to embrace digitization. LawBasket is a platform where lawyers meet clients (people with cases) to deliver legal services on customer-driven terms. In a way, LawBasket is a marketplace where clients and lawyers interact to buy and sell legal services.
The platform was developed by a local tech company, Lexware which offers technological solutions for the legal profession in Africa. Lexware’s reach goes beyond Zimbabwe’s borders as it is present in over 15 African countries. Not to mention that Lexware’s co-founder, Simba Mubvuma was one of four Zimbabweans to appear on the 2018 Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.
Deep-dive into LawBasket
If you are familiar with how lawyers operate, you know that when you visit their offices to request their services, the first thing you have to do is to pay them a consultation fee. After paying the consultation fee, a law firm would assign any lawyer to help you out with your case. The lawyer will then also hand you a hefty bill of their services that leaves your pocket very shallow and flat.
But this is not the case with LawBasket. As I have alluded to above, LawBasket is a marketplace that is customer driven in the sense that customers come with jobs (their case) for lawyers on their own terms. As a customer on LawBasket, you are able to filter the kind of lawyer you want to deal with your case, you choose the amount of time you want the lawyer to spend on your case, you decide the amount of money you are prepared to pay for a lawyer to handle your case etc.
In a language that many people will resonate with, (for instance) LawBasket enables you to hire a lawyer for $300 who would have cost you $700 if you had decided to go through the tedious option of going to their offices and be assigned a random lawyer etc.
Previously, a client never had this kind of power to decide. Actually, by not stating that LawBasket is revolutionary, I will be understating it.
About lawyers on LawBasket
LawBasket has enlisted lawyers from all over Africa. That means if you happen to have a case in a foreign African country, you are spared the pains of visiting the country to look for lawyers to do your case. Rather, you just log-in to LawBasket and look for a lawyer that suits your ‘taste’, be it, from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Mali, you name it (every African country). And don’t worry, LawBasket has a very strict screening process of the lawyers it accepts on the platform. Accordingly, that enables you to enjoy affordable legal services from quality lawyers.
Is signing up on LawBasket free?
Yes, signing-up on LawBasket is absolutely free for both clients and lawyers.
Hiring a lawyer on LawBasket
There’s not even a single element of rocket science that’s needed for you to hire your preferred lawyer on LawBasket. You simply choose the lawyer you think is well-placed to deal with your case according to their qualifications, experience, and other criteria. As I pointed out, LawBasket is an African-wide platform, so when you choose your lawyer it will be wise to only choose lawyers within your proximity (in your country) – a location feature on the platform will help you do that.
Just like any other platform, clients and lawyers will be able to interact on LawBasket. That will give clients and lawyers the chance to discuss the case and negotiate on price, time and deadlines. Not forgetting that LawBasket is structured in such a way that, as a customer, you post a job (a client posting their case) in the category that it falls in. For instance, if your case (job) is about taxation disputes, divorce dispute, estate dispute, patents dispute etc., you have to list in the correct category so that you will attract the right lawyer for your job.
Making a transaction on LawBasket
Once you find the right lawyer to do your case, you make your payment on LawBasket. Your lawyer will not automatically receive your payment. But your payment will be held in escrow until your lawyer meets their side of the bargain (do what you agreed on)- only then will they receive their money. There is also a feature on LawBasket that enables clients to do gradual payments as the lawyer completes a certain agreed portion of the job.
How can I access LawBasket
LawBasket paves a new way in which legal services are consumed. The idea that consumers are given virtually untold power in how they choose to consume legal services should make it preferable to the old model that made clients obey whatever demands their lawyers made.