Orlando-based Jet.Law and CaseGuide Inc. are the latest legal service providers to receive an investment from startup accelerator Y Combinator, with the law firm revealing it received $150,000 in exchange for a 7 percent stake in tech company CaseGuide.
Jet.Law, formally Jet Dot Law PLLC, is a law firm that leverages technology created by CaseGuide to predict a case’s expected workload, which is then is used to compute a client’s fixed monthly bill.
Kyle Harris, a Jet.Law co-founder, CaseGuide CEO and engineer, noted the firm uses a web scraper to automatically email lawyers updates to court records on a client’s matter. In turn, an email listing the updates is automatically created and sent to the client.
Automatic updates and automated emails are ways to keep clients aware of their legal matter’s progression and prevent any “mystery bills” for clients, Harris noted.
“The nice thing about doing this our way is we get to have a law firm that has a different economic incentive than other law firms,” Harris said. “We are really motivated to make new tech and use what’s out there to make the practice of law as efficient as possible.”
This efficiency is essential, as Jet.Law’s sole attorney is co-founder, CaseGuide CFO and former Jackson Lewis associate Jesse Unruh of Oviedo. Unruh said CaseGuide is concentrating on developing technology that will allow him to manage 20 to 30 cases on an ongoing basis as cases are assigned. He added the firm will add attorneys as needed.
The firm’s focus is defending small and midsize companies in employee litigation, a practice Unruh honed during a judicial clerkship and while working at other firms.
Last September, when Jet.Law and CaseGuide were only an idea shared by Unruh and Harris, they submitted an application for investment from Y Combinator. Harris said they were motivated not by Y Combinator’s previous legal tech investments but by what the company wanted: good ideas, even from those without industry contacts.
By October, Harris and Unruh, and other startup leaders, were invited to spend three months at Y Combinator’s California office. During that time, which is described as a funding cycle by the company, startups are connected to potential investors and advisers, and participate in a Demo Day where they pitch their company.
In 2018, Legaltech News reported five legal-specific companies pitched their ideas at last March’s Demo Day.
Harris and Unruh join a growing list of legal tech companies that are finding eager investors. For example, legal management software provider Onit received $200 million earlier this year from private investors. Law firms have also invested in legal tech solutions, with U.K. law firm Slaughter and May participating in a $10 million funding round for artificial intelligence-backed contract review platform Luminance.