Perhaps the biggest development on the front end over the last year is the move to a simpler interface that encourages users to enter their phone number, after which a Lawdingo rep will call them back.
In the first iteration of Lawdingo, a bit more work was required, but Nikhil explained that the aim was to shorten the distance between consumer and lawyer – to make it as quick and easy as possible to connect the two.
As a result of the increased focus on the phone, Lawdingo has expanded its contact center and the support team will now route consumers in any US state to a suitable lawyer for their needs.
So, it works something like this:
–You have a legal problem
–You go to Lawdingo and enter your phone number
–A Lawdingo staff member calls you back quickly
–They ask you for more details about your case
–Lawdingo (behind the scenes) uses its technology to forward your case details to relevant lawyers
–Those lawyers decide whether to pick up the lead
–A lawyer contacts you, and you’re off
Other than entering your phone number in the first instance, there is an alternative “chat” option but Nikhil said most people wanted to talk to someone.
Even if they describe the case in writing, chances are Lawdingo would still need to call them initially to learn more about the case before deciding which lawyers to contact.
For their part, lawyers pay between $100 and $700 to be on Lawdingo’s books, with most paying between $150 and $250.
The rates vary according to the level of prioritization – how far your car is along the cab rank.
The directory element of Lawdingo – Browse Lawyers – is still there but on a second screen one click back from the homepage.
If you have a particular lawyer in mind, you can search and filter by location and practice area.
Among other recent developments, the site has started to facilitate online payments using the Stripe payments technology.
And in January 2014, Lawdingo partnered with Clio, the leading legal practice management platform, to streamline the intake process for clients who submit questions or proposals via Lawdingo.
The Lawdingo team has grown.
Senior staff include Nirmel and chief technology officer Daniel Langevin, with additional support in New York and Eastern Europe.
There’s a ton of startups of this type out there.
Some will succeed, some won’t – that’s the genesis of entrepreneurialism – but I’ve always felt that Lawdingo will do well.
There’s a simplicity to Lawdingo, which I have always liked.
User experience – or UX, to use the startup jargon – is the guiding theme.
The site is clean, and well-designed, and it’s all about putting the consumer – the prospective buyer of the legal service – in the driving seat.
Among legal directory startups and matching sites of this type, a fashionable thing is questions and answers (like Avvo or Findlaw) or documents (like Rocket Lawyer and Legal Zoom).
I’m sure as Lawdingo grows, there will be pressure to add new features, but for now Lawdingo is concentrating on one thing and trying to do it as effectively as possible – connecting consumers easily and quickly with the right lawyer for them.
Lawdingo began life in January 2012 at the Mountain View-based seed accelerator Y Combinator, and received $100,000 in initial funding, before moving to New York.
In November 2013, Lawdingo received a further $690, 000 in funding.