Rocket Lawyer is the startup shaking up the legal system and bringing power to the people
Navigating your way around the UK’s legal system can be incredibly intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. However, for many individuals the cost and time commitment of hiring a lawyer can be just that bit too much.
It was at this point Dr Mark Edwards, Rocket Lawyer UK’s VP and general manager, decided it was time to take law into his own hands and joined Rocket Lawyer to kick-start its UK venture. We caught up with Dr. Edwards to find out why it was the right time to modernise how the legal system serves both individuals and businesses.
Where did your big idea for bringing Rocket Lawyer to the UK come from?
Rocket Lawyer Inc was launched by Charley Moore in 2008, a technology lawyer from San Francisco who wanted to create an online legal service to simplify the law and make it affordable for small businesses and individuals. By 2012 it was time to bring the concept to the UK, because people have the same issues getting legal help here, so I joined Rocket Lawyer to launch the service.
We now help over 100,000 people each month with their legal issues.
What’s the problem that Rocket Lawyer is trying to solve?
In the UK there are 5.2 million small businesses and, on average, each of them will have 13 legal problems per year, according to a recent study by the Legal Services Board. These include all types of legal issues, such as employment property, commercial, IP and tax.
However, 87% of these businesses find that to go to a lawyer to solve these issues is too expensive. Rocket Lawyer is here to reduce the cost of legal services for these small businesses by giving them tools to create legal documents themselves and get legal advice from lawyers at a discounted rate when needed.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far?
Our biggest challenge has been building the best customer experience for creating legal documents online. We had to break down complex legal documents into questions that regular people could understand and easily answer.
Where do you see Rocket Lawyer in five years’ time?
A global brand known for helping small businesses and individuals get affordable legal help anywhere in the world.
What’s the one thing you wished you had known from the start?
Hiring the right people for a startup is crucial. Every hire takes effort and scarce funds. And each person has to have the right skills, potential to develop and cultural fit. We’re getting pretty good now at hiring, but we’ve made some mistakes over the past few years and they have cost us time and money.