In an interesting move, the technology incubator Y-Combinator has invited five Legal Tech companies to present their pitches at “Demo Day,” the culminating event for the incubator’s mentorship programming.
Lawyaw is a tool that allows attorneys to build templates from their existing documents and manages workflows using machine learning processes. The platform uses natural language processing to sift through document formatting, and also includes both collaboration and e-signature tools.
Lawyaw is headed by former attorney Tucker Cottingham, and it was recently voted into the ABA TECHSHOW’s “Startup Alley.”
Callisto is a new take on sexual misconduct reporting software. The platform asks users to provide key identifying information of attackers. If the platform finds that more than one person has identified the same attacker, it then offers to connect users to an “option counselor,” an attorney who can help sexual assault victims navigate their options.
A spokesperson for Callisto explained the company’s approach, saying, “By linking victims of sexual harassment with an options counselor, we hope to empower them to make the choice that is right for them, whether that means taking legal action or going to the authorities—among the other routes available—and restoring their humanity in the process.”
Cognition IP is a self-described “venture-backed patent IP firm.” The company promises to file patents in half the time of a standard law firm, using some combination of automation and algorithmic technology, and utilizing fixed fees for patent work. Part of Cognition IP’s strategy for cutting time is to use algorithms to generate a kind of “topic graph” around a patent topic to get a sense as to whether previous patent filings would cover that technology.
Co-founder Bryant Lee said the idea for Cognition IP spun out of the software he developed for his own legal work. “People kept asking me, why don’t you take my case? I was getting a lot of demand for patent services. I realized that I should just try to make that firm more efficient with my own technology. I realized that’s where a lot of demand was and I wanted to build this tech to help with that,” Lee told TechCrunch.
Atrium LTS launched last year as a technology start-up partner of a law firm of the same name, offering a packaged legal service that includes both technology and legal product and advising. Co-founder Justin Kan pitched the service at Demo Day, noting that Atrium’s technology services aim to “turn legal documents into data,” according to TechCrunch.
Atrium co-founder and director Bebe Chueh noted that participating in Y-Combinator offered Atrium an opportunity to collaborate with a whole team of other entrepreneurs, a useful additive when your firm primarily services other startups. “When we embedded into Y-Combinator, it allowed us to really hone in on the product and user test with our batchmates,” she said. Chueh added that the Atrium team demoed a product that helped other Y-Combinator participants close fee financing.
Promise aims to be an alternative to bail practices that keep low-income, low-risk people detained behind bars. The platform monitors those released by providing a specifically tailored care plan, reminding users of important court hearings, and helping them to keep track of important probationary obligations like drug testing and substance abuse treatment.
The platform has already garnered $3 million in investments a round led by First Round Capital with participation from Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation, 8VC and Kapor Capital.