LexMeet is the Philippine’s first on-demand online legal solutions platform. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, LexMeet’s President & CEO, Marlon Valderama, explains what inspired the company’s founding, its services offer to lawyers and legal consumers, it’s geographic scope, market acceptance, future plans – as well as the current state of legal innovation in the Philippines.
What is LexMeet?
LexMeet is the Philippine’s first on-demand online legal solutions platform. We have web and mobile applications, both IOs and Android, wherein clients can avail themselves of legal services using our online legal consultation platform. LexMeet also offers clients legal blogs, legal assistance crowdsourcing, legal document assembly and a legal works escrow delivery system. We have 12 more products for clients including e-notary with blockchain. For lawyers, we have a legal management software that we will integrate with LexMeet.
LexMeet is like Grab of lawyers, and more. LexMeet (www.lexmeet.com) is a real-time online legal consultation platform where lawyers and clients meet to solve legal problems. In our paid product, clients can seek lawyer’s advice by a mere computer click. Instead of a vehicle matching with the nearest rider, LexMeet is where client’s legal problems are matched with a lawyer’s expertise, location and language and we serve as a bridge for them to meet via video or conference call. It’s a one-stop shop for all of legal services needs from assessment of cases to execution of judgments.
What inspired you to found LexMeet and what has been the reception for the services so far?
I am a lawyer by profession, and I handled cases of ordinary Filipinos in court which they could have simply avoided if they had access to lawyers for legal guidance. Filipino migrant workers, startups and micro, small and medium enterprises could not access lawyers because they are hindered by distance, time and money. What inspire me to launch LexMeet is the benefit that it provides to our Filipino migrant workers, startups and micro, small and medium enterprises. They are the vulnerable sectors that need access to legal services. LexMeet makes access to legal services easy, convenient and affordable. The Filipinos welcomed LexMeet warmly gauging from the traction we were able to gain since its launch last December 27, 2017. As of November 29, 2019, LexMeet already has 29,000 registered user clients and 450 registered lawyers.
Do you cover all regions of the Philippines?
Yes. Most of the regions of the Philippines are covered. The 450 lawyers registered in LexMeet came from different regions and are practicing law in their respective provinces. We are planning to increase the number to 1,500 by 2020.
Is this a platform lawyers have welcomed as a means to connect with clients?
Yes. Lawyers welcomed LexMeet as another means of marketing their services and an added source of income and opportunity to gain clients online. Since registration in LexMeet is free, the on-boarding of lawyers is easy. Included in our plan for LexMeet lawyers is the use of LexOffice, a legal management software we developed for solo, small and medium law firms which they can use to monitor their clients, cases and documents, as well as their finances and billings.
What are your plans for the future?
LexMeet has at least 15 products which we plan to develop and launch within a span of five years. As of now, we have online legal consultation, legal crowdsourcing, legal works delivery, legal blogs and legal management software which is under integration. By 2020, we plan to launch our document assembly and legal management software. We are now developing the legal works delivery system. We are currently operating in the Philippines but with plans to introduce LexMeet, together with our local partners, in other parts of Asia either under a joint venture arrangement or as investors.
What is the current state of legal innovation in the Philippines? And how is the legal services sector changing as a result?
The current state of legal innovation in the Philippines is still in its infancy. A quick survey of the legal tech landscape in the Philippines reveals that LexMeet is among the few, and the first, to establish this kind of e-lawyering platform here. There are pioneer legal tech companies in the Philippines such as CD Asia Technologies, the maker of Lex Libris but they are engaged in online selling/subscription of law books and jurisprudence, among others. There are also some Philippine websites containing Philippine laws and jurisprudence. The legal tech industry is a very young industry in the Philippines and quite a handful of them are into legal research and legal information. LexMeet is a pioneer in e-lawyering and legal management software in the Philippines.
With the introduction of LexMeet, the legal services sector is now changing in terms of openness of people to consult lawyers using a mobile app. They’ve already experienced the convenience and affordability of this app and lawyers are now more open to using technology in improving their client acquisition. Lawyers are now also keen to adopt cloud-based systems to monitor and manage their law firms. LexMeet opened the eyes of lawyers to the reality that technology could really help in making their work easy and convenient.