EJ: How did you come up with this idea? I watch a lot of different vertical
marketplaces and I haven't seen this specific one yet.
Raad: The original inception of the idea came to me when I was in law school.
I didn't want to take the traditional route of graduating and working at a law
firm, spending 10 years there and trying to make partner.
I wanted to start my own practice. I wanted to do that in the same way that
Shopify sellers have been selling e-commerce services. Except I wanted that
to happen with professionals. I realized there wasn't an easy way for lawyers
to become independent and set up their virtual law firm on the internet, start
accepting clients, and get paid for it while building up their online reputation.
I started tinkering with this idea of how we could make more legal professionals
independent. How do we build out a platform on the internet that allows them
to tap into certain tools that was only limited to law firms at the time, but how
do we make that more accessible towards independent professionals?
And, in turn, maybe companies will use them because they're way more efficient
than the traditional options out there. It's been an evolution from that point to a
standalone product to this vertical labor marketplace focused on a specific niche.
EJ: It sounds like you really wanted to help other lawyers and people graduating law
school start their own practice and become entrepreneurs. Is that right?
Raad: I have a pretty entrepreneurial background. Before doing Lawtrades, I launched
a web app for Facebook that allowed people to customize their Facebook cover photo.
That grew to about 30 million hits a month at some point when they rolled out that
feature. I made a decent six figure income while still in law school, and got that
internet product, entrepreneurship bug. I knew right then I wanted to spend the
rest of my life building cool stuff on the internet.
It stemmed from this idea of wanting to make more lawyers entrepreneurs. I think
having freedom and flexibility leads to a better, happier life. It started with that,
and it evolved and grew from there.