Muiz Shahab Uddin is Chief Strategic Officer and co-founder of legal tech startup LegalX in Bangladesh. In this interview, he explains how he hopes to make legal services in Bangladesh less expensive and more accessible — while also increasing legal literacy — through his founding and leadership of this legal technology startup. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, he details the LegalX story and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.
What is LegalX and how do you help clients?
With LegalX, we aim to bring the accessibility of legal information closer to the people of Bangladesh.
When I was in law school, my family faced some legal challenges, but I was lucky to be surrounded by teachers who were working legal professionals who assisted me in resolving those challenges. As I worked my way through this scenario, I realized that there aren’t many options accessible for those who require legal assistance but don’t have the same access to legal professionals that I did or the financial means to pay for a professional’s services.
Every year, millions of Bangladeshis involved in legal issues decide not to act on them. The main barrier to these people asking for legal guidance and support is their financial constraints to pay for help or their confusion of where to go for reliable legal information. In the end, their rights are unintentionally violated as a result. LegalX was developed to empower and guide Bangladeshi individuals toward justice by providing them with easy access to essential legal information when they need it.
What is the role of technology in LegalX?
Because of recent technological advancements, we were able to easily unite all of the services we offer under one roof and make our vision a reality. LegalX is a website and app-based platform where people can seek legal information using the platform we have created, and it will be promptly provided at a very reasonable cost. According to a lawyer’s practice area and location, people who require immediate guidance can access them or discover them in the directory we are compiling.
In addition to accessing legal information and seeking lawyers, the Legalx platform provides services, including a specific section dedicated to managing delicate matters like inquiries on sexual offenses and harassment, as well as services such as contract drafting and review for users, educational videos, and content on various laws and regulations to help people learn more about their legal rights. All these services can be availed of by people of all backgrounds from the comfort of their homes without worrying about bias.
You are the Chief Strategy Officer for LegalX. Tell us more about the firm and your role within it.
We hope to foster an environment in which people are better informed about their legal rights and empowered to enforce them by making legal services affordable and accessible. Each citizen should be aware of his or her legal responsibilities and rights to obtain justice, which is why LegalX strives to educate the public about these matters.
As LegalX’s Chief Strategic Officer and co-founder, I work directly with every department. I set the company’s goals, ensure that growth is occurring within the allotted time, and ensure that the operations team is in line with the proactive strategies we have established. I also coordinate with the marketing team to set up the strategies needed to effectively connect with customers and increase sales.
The most crucial factor that I always consider while strategizing is previous client feedback and how to build on that to offer greater services to our users. In addition to these, I am in charge of maintaining vendor relations and customer management.
What unique challenges and opportunities do businesses face in Bangladesh?
The challenges that businesses face while operating in Bangladesh are related to the legal formation of their organization. Lawyers in Bangladesh are quite expensive, even for a basic consultation, and people do hesitate to go to a lawyer, probably for this sole reason. There are startups and founders in Bangladesh who started without any professional legal consultation just to save their costs, and in the long process, they are suffering.
One more example would be that at the initial phase of their business, many founders make their own contracts to save costs and start their business operations, but later suffer as they fail to follow proper guidelines. One of our platform’s value propositions is instant legal support, such as “Ask a lawyer,” because if a founder needs something right away but does not want to spend a lot of money on lawyers, they can use our platform to get their legal questions answered at a low cost.
The opportunity for us is big, as Bangladesh is a developing nation and startups, and SMEs are growing rapidly. They need legal assistance, and that’s where we come in. We have a model for outsourcing legal teams that will help them get their desired legal assistance within their budget. As we are working with remote legal teams and making lawyers more accessible to clients, this will also save time for people in general.
A lot of people from the middle- and lower-income classes face legal issues but hesitate to go to lawyers, probably because they do not fit their budget for an initial consultation. That’s the market we want to tap into with our legal instant query team, which will provide all legal answers that also fit their budget.
What are your goals for the future of LegalX?
By developing a new foundation in Bangladesh’s legal tech industry, I hope to debunk the public’s misunderstanding that legal services are extremely expensive and unsuitable for them. I want to create a legal eco-system and increase people’s legal literacy while spending as little money as possible.
Currently, we offer our services online, which requires an internet connection. However, I plan to reach out to individuals without access to the internet in the near future and promote awareness and understanding through appropriate communication channels.
How can clients and referral sources contact you?
We are also available on social media platforms.