I have struggled the last few days, trying to decide how to tackle this topic, while keeping many other things in the air. The last aspect of Legal Potentials goals is to leverage the clinics and serving the start-up community to develop innovative technologies that will benefit the legal community. This third prong, or goal is the recognition the the old legal industry is due a face-lift and getting involved as early as possible to take advantage of the ripening legal tech market. I recently read an article that thinks there is room in the market for 5 or more $500 million dollar companies in the next couple of years.
I don’t have any specific ideas, but I think it is interesting to follow and learn about the new apps/web services and legal offerings that are entering the market. Some are trying to provide greater access to legal information, services, and applications simplify yet get in writing contracts. No doubt there is plenty of room for growth, and hurdles to overcome as the old guard seeks to protect the industry and profession, while new entrants are seeking to further disrupt the legal industry.
So without getting too deep into stats, or specific apps this intro to the 3rd goal of Legal Potential is clear that legal tech is changing and being part of the innovation of the way law is practiced and consumed will be exciting.
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A year ago, I joined a group of friends and completed the Tough Mudder in Tahoe. A total of 12 miles, 20+ obstacles and mud. Much like law school I enjoyed the process, it was difficult and was worth it for the “experience”; however, I think I would prefer doing the tough mudder again over going to law school again.
One of the major factors impacting the legal industry is the need for law students to come out of law school with E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E. (typing that I imagine you singing out loud to the tune of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. so go back and re-read/sing that line if you didn’t) In the last post I discussed how my “stupid” idea to sell t-shirts lead me down the path to creating scholarships, yet without having sold more than a handful to my friends I realized the number of shirts I would need to sell to have a significant impact and started to think again, how else can Legal Potential add value to the community and to law students, another light bulb went off and realized that if we establish clinics that would help students gain experience while still in school.
Of course most law schools have clinics but there is a sufficient gap in the ratio of clinics to law students and there are only a few focused on Intellectual Property, Employment, Contracts/Licensing. So while I was taking an entrepreneurial management class I realized that the start-up community could benefit from such a clinic for basic training and advice that could fit in clinic type setting.
Students would benefit by gaining valuable experience assisting fledgling companies ,developing connections that would transfer well to working at a firm, and bringing established relationships and potential new business to the firms they are hired on at upon graduating.
The other aspect of the clinics would be career advice and development opportunities for law students seeking alternative career options, or just seeking alternative venues to explore career paths.
So beyond t-shirts and scholarships, Legal Potential will establish clinics to provide Experience to law students, while adding value to the local community.
Up Next: Innovation, how collaboration with start-ups will lead to innovative legal tech
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The original idea of Legal Potential was to sell t-shirts that defied the cliché law school/university book store designs. However, as I continued to read articles that discussed the changing legal economy, the downturn due to the recession, to the law school tuition bubble, I realized there was a greater need than just selling t-shirts. While re-thinking what was needed and how I could become involved and influence the future landscape of the legal industry, I read the book: The Power of Starting Something Stupid. Richie Norton who authored the book, breaks down how several “Stupid” ideas like micro blogging aka Twitter have become massive success stories. I realized my idea doesn’t need to be groundbreaking or the next billion dollar tech star, but still could make an impact and help others.
If it isn’t obvious by now, my thoughts and ideas evolved and I decided to sell t-shirts and use the profits to create scholarships. I realize I am going to need to sell a few boatloads to really impact scholarship funds (especially with the current costs of attending law school), yet every bit counts. No doubt there are thousands of students who would appreciate even an extra $1000 to cover the cost of books. You can help by placing an order for a t-shirt or simply sharing this information with others on Facebook or Twitter. We welcome feedback and suggestions on how Legal Potential can be of more assistance to the legal community as a whole and to law students.
Up Next: Experience, how legal clinics can add value to law students and local communities
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The goal of Legal potential is to provide scholarships to law students, experience through high-tech clinics, and development of technology to better the legal community.
Right now Legal Potential is in Phase 1 Creating scholarships through the sale of t-shirts; Phase 2 will include the development of high-tech legal clinics that will provide students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain hands on experience while providing support to their local communities and the last phase will be the development of technology to better serve the legal community.
All profits will flow back to scholarships for law students because we believe that if students have less debt they are more likely to practice in an area of law of interest rather than just for a paycheck let alone try to stay afloat with loan repayments.
The ultimate goal of Legal Potential is to be a positive influence in the legal community without begging for help and assistance but adding value and helping law students begin their legal careers with less debt and more opportunities because advanced technologies.
So how can Legal Potential help you?
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I am so happy to launch the “Legal Potential” blog with more content to follow shortly! I was at law school buying my $1000 worth of books and saw the incoming 1L’s their eyes full of excitement and fear at the same time. I can’t believe that was me two years ago and little did I know than how much duty and responsibility I undertook.
It is amazing to see time fly by, and we are all either awe-struck at how much we have grown and developed or shocked by how little progress and results we have achieved. It is only through looking at our past, that we can truly evaluate where we have been and how that relates to where we are. Reviewing our results is the only way to establish if we are still on track to get where we are going( in the most general terms). Yet without reflection the present has no perspective. The purpose of this blog is to be a platform to help those in the legal community and other professionals to live up to their potential.
I hope you find this blog informative, inviting, somewhat intellectual and motivating. I welcome comments and feedback and collaboration.
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