Want a lawyer? Try new website

April 28th, 2008 - 10:56 am ICT by admin  

By Papri Sri Raman
Chennai, April 28 (IANS) With 30 million pending cases today in various lower and higher courts of India, a group of lawyers and law firms have set up a dedicated website for people to find lawyers. The platform is being provided by two software companies, one based in India and the other in the US. AdvocateKhoj is a dedicated case post system for consumers (URL: http://www.advocatekhoj.com) to help people find a well-qualified lawyer for their legal needs. It was launched April 10. It is a joint venture between two privately funded firms - India-based Neosys Inc and US-based Nubia Inc.

“The online legal market in India is at a nascent stage. So long there was just a couple of yellow pages, listing advocates from various parts of India but there wasn’t a communication platform like AdvocateKhoj,” Anoop Vincent, co-founder of AdvocateKhoj, told IANS.

“Our early statistics show it is quite a promising market.”

There are over three million cases pending in India’s 21 high courts and 26.3 million more cases pending in subordinate courts across the country. At the same time, there are almost a quarter million under-trials languishing in jails across the country.

“It is obvious that consumers would embrace this new service as all of us prefer to make empowered and informed decisions. The search for a well-qualified lawyer or a good client should be no different,” Vincent said.

Unlike in the West, there has been no authentic legal portal for the Indian public until now, when across the world four million people go online every month to get legal advice, Vincent explained.

In recent years many legal aid websites have come up in Europe and America, he said.

With this new website, people in India who are in need of legal assistance can present their case by answering some simple questions about their legal situation free of cost on the AdvocateKhoj website and without revealing their identity.

Interested lawyers will also have to register with the website.

AdvocateKhoj networks lawyers from 250 locations in India. According to the Bar Council of India, there are over one million lawyers in India and about 60,000 law graduates pass out every year from various colleges in India.

Lawyers enrolled with AdvocateKhoj can review these cases and send their replies to each client. The consumer can view the various responses, check their background information, education and experience, and then make an informed decision on whom to engage for their case.

AdvocateKhoj uses automated online technologies that match the specific needs of a consumer with a lawyer, by matching geographically, and also based on a lawyer’s various salient attributes and legal expertise. The matching is fully automated and is based on client-entered criteria, so there is no preferential treatment of any particular lawyer.

As this happens before any fee is paid, and with minimal time spent, consumers can present their cases and in turn get in touch with lawyers of their choice. The site also provides comprehensive information and education about Indian law, historical antecedents, legal tips, areas of law and Indian acts and rules.

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