On paper India is the perfect place to start a new legal directory.
All the ingredients are there:
A huge number of lawyers – around 1.3 million, the most of any country in the world, just ahead of the United States.
Even more on the way, with around 400,000 to 500,000 studying law at the minute, adding 60,000 to 70,000 graduates every year.
A highly fragmented legal market.
Legal directories thrive when markets are fragmented, and more than 90% of India lawyers are in one-man-band firms, many in small villages.
Even the largest firms, despite some recent mergers, are tiny by international standards.
A huge population. With 1.3 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world, and will surpass China in 2022.
Increasing wealth and rising GDP/capita (although still relatively low by advanced country standards)
A technology-savvy population, with a large number of excellent developers and creative people.
A litigious society. Indians love suing each other as much as Americans.
So all in all, the conditions are there for directories to thrive.
But the problem is that the Indian bar authorities have long taken a dim view of legal marketing and India has the toughest restrictions in the world when it comes to law firms advertising their services.
Not just directory placements, but websites, adverts, and other promotional activity.
This stuff is painful to do in India.
Despite these obstacles, a bunch of new products have emerged as India echoes the worldwide trend of lawyer matching and comparison sites.
The latest on the scene is LawRato, founded in 2015 by software engineer Rohan Mahajan.
The platform offers consumers the ability to select a preferred lawyer, book a private consultation, and a “legal knowledge bank” with answers to common legal issues.
LawRato has raised finance and has already notched up some impressive looking numbers.
Other similar sites in India include MyAdvo, Legistify, Lawsikho, Lawyered.in, and Vakilno1.
If some of these sites take off, India could be one of the most exciting places in the world for legal directories in the coming years.
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Advocate Sagar Kothari says
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MyAdvo is the best website for legal cases.