Priori Legal, a marketplace for in-house legal teams to find and hire outside counsel, has announced today the completion of a $6.3m Series A funding round. Investors include the legal technology venture fund of US law firm Orrick, as well as Mindset Ventures whose Partner Jules Miller was previously the co-founder of Evolve Law, and Hire an Esquire, the lawyers for hire platform.
Founded by Basha Rubin and Mirra Levitt, who met as classmates at Yale Law School, Priori is focused on ‘disrupting the $800bn business legal services market’ through its data-driven approach to procuring external legal support.
Clients submit an RFP through the platform and they get given a shortlist of potential lawyers that can help with the project that have been identified as a good fit by Priori’s data analytics. You can then pick the lawyers that appear to meet your needs. The platform also links with well-known e-billing software such as Legal Tracker and Simple Legal.
Artificial Lawyer spoke to Rubin and Levitt (pictured above) about the new investment, how they got started, and how the company will compete.
– What inspired you to do this?
We met as classmates at Yale Law School where we saw how vertical marketplaces were transforming other industries and saw an opportunity to import the same principles to law in a highly industry specific way. We were particularly interested in how marketplaces could help clients find the right lawyer at the right time and price.
We graduated as the legal industry was reckoning with the aftereffects of the 2008 recession, and we believed that technology could make legal purchasing decisions faster and more certain, pricing more competitive and transparent, and increase satisfaction with legal services received.
– How will you compete with other offerings in the same category?
Our marketplace model serving in-house legal teams is unique. We have built a global vetted network of attorneys at firms of all sizes (from the Am Law 100 through to solo practitioners) whom we vet using a proprietary data-driven process we’ve developed that yields a 10% admissions rate. For those attorneys, we are a business development channel that can be anywhere 100% of their work or one matter per year.
Our clients are in-house teams at Fortune 500 and other leading companies who turn to us for a wide range of legal work (IP, M&A, regulatory, employment, litigation and contracts), to address internal company priorities (cost savings, time savings, and driving diversity outcomes).
– What will you use the money for?
We are expanding both our business and product teams. On the business front, in addition to supporting existing demand, we’ll use the money to scale-up on the client side. We will also be growing the global footprint of our attorney network as well as onboarding attorneys at larger firms.
From a product perspective, we’re focused on using data to drive better outside counsel hiring, as well as using machine learning in attorney vetting and matchmaking.
– On a personal level what does the investment mean to you?
We’re thrilled and so proud of our team and what we’ve built together — particularly during this extremely challenging pandemic period. We’re honoured that so many of legal tech’s smartest investors came into the round and we’re excited to work with them in this next stage.
Most importantly, we’re happy to be able to focus 100% on scaling the business. And now fun begins: we’re crazy busy building and scaling a legal services company for the future!
The full list of investors: Hearst Corporation; Great Oaks Venture Capital; and Jambhala; Tim Steinert, former General Counsel of Alibaba Group; Mindset Ventures; Bridge Investments whose Venture Partner Mike Suchsland is the former President of Thomson Reuters Legal Business; and Orrick’s Legal Technology Fund.