The Duke Law Tech Lab, run by Duke Law school, has launched its latest legal tech incubator with 12 companies. This is the third year the programme has run, which they describe as a ‘pre-accelerator’. The project will potentially then feed some of the top cohort members into the LexisNexis legal tech accelerator, also in the US.
There are five companies ‘with a core mission of expanding greater access to legal services’:
Artificial Lawyer’s favourite has to be Courtroom5 – what an original name! Despite the amusing brand name, it’s a very serious application that helps you when you are a litigant in person.
Each received an initial $1,000 grant and the opportunity to showcase their services and compete for additional prize money at the programme’s culmination on September 20 in Durham, North Carolina.
The other seven companies, which focus on ‘a mix of traditional legal services markets and historically underserved customers’, are:
The favourite here has to be Princeton Gavel – it uses predictive analytics to process new cases, identify the key legal issues, and produce a predictive valuation.
(….is it just AL or are legal tech company names starting to sound like Indie bands?)
The Lab said that previous cohort members include Hello Divorce, which won the $5,000 grand prize at the 2018 Demo Day, and vTestify, which provides its digital testimony collection and review services free of charge to legal aid programmes through the ABA Center for Innovation’s Legal Tech for a Change Project.
Tech Lab graduates ‘may be eligible to move on to the LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator, which focuses on companies ready for market launch or in their market already’.
And that’s an interesting idea, i.e. one incubator leads you directly onto another programme that takes you through to the next level of business and product development.
Could we one day see an arrangement between incubators/accelerators in the UK where startups were directly fed into another programme? E.g. MDR LAB first, then PwC Scale? Not a totally crazy idea perhaps….?
Jeff Ward, Associate Dean for Technology & Innovation at Duke Law and Director of the Duke Center on Law & Technology, said: ‘We feel lucky to work with folks who are excited about ways that legal practice can be better for all involved.’
Jeff Pfeifer, Vice President and Chief Product Officer, North America for LexisNexis, said: ‘We are eager to collaborate on our accelerator programs and to offer further support to the growing legal start-up community. Our organisations share a vision to build and support a dynamic start-up ecosystem that delivers innovation for the legal services market.’
You’ve missed this year’s chance to join, but if you fancy checking it out for next year you can find more info here: http://www.dukelawtechlab.com/