A Victorian lawyer has launched a technology solution for what she considers to be the “endless chase” of briefing a barrister.
April Arslan has unveiled a new website-based platform that matches barristers with client briefs according to the advocates availability and level of expertise.
Law-Whiz, a business process-driven solution, was designed by Ms Arslan to service all common law legal systems.
“At the end of the day, when you need someone urgently, and you can’t find them, you’re reliant on the traditional methods,” Ms Arslan said.
The traditional methods to which Ms Arslan refers is a time-honoured system, where barristers look for cases by marketing themselves, while solicitors with active matters search for available barristers with a certain area of expertise by contacting a range of clerks and firms.
In Ms Arslan’s view, the old way of doing things has become “an inefficient use of time and money” for both the barrister and the solicitor.
“Clerks are your first point of contact when looking for a barrister, then your colleagues, or your existing list of barristers that you have on your books. Either way, if they are not available, you go back to the chase,” she said.
Four years ago, the lawyer and entrepreneur began drawing up wire frames for Law-Whiz when she decided that there must be a more seamless way to connect solicitors, clerks and members of the bar.
“As a lawyer, for 15-20 years of my career my colleagues would ring me and say ‘April, who would you use? April, we’ve got this problem, who do you recommend?’,” Ms Arslan said.
“I was the go-between, if you like, but in a very informal manner. Over the years, because I was so busy running my own commercial matters, I really didn’t have that time to spare.”
Ms Arslan explained that as a legal practitioner, her product was conceived with the end-user in mind.
She also spent several years privately consulting with solicitors and barristers about the best way to solve what she considered to be the problem of an exhaustive use of resources when looking to brief someone.
“It’s all at the press of a button now. It takes away that whole, what I call unnecessary chasing and wasting time,” Ms Arslan said.
The platform works by giving direct access users the ability to upload their matters. From there, barristers are able to browse what matters have been entered online and according to their area of expertise.
“Law-Whiz also facilitates direct access to barristers by corporate in-house counsel, solicitors employed by government or other agencies, insurance companies, banks and corporate accounting firms,” Ms Arslan added.
Law-Whiz is being marketed as a way for barristers to increase their revenue without marketing and free up time for clerks to complete administrative tasks “without the burden of finding ways to promote their barristers”.
The product is subscription-based and connects legal practitioners in common law countries.