AI and machine learning-based platforms are slowly taking over traditional digital ventures. The primary goal of all AI-enabled innovations is to reduce human labour and ultimately automate the workings of any system.
Just as businesses are adopting AI to improve productivity and efficiency, there is a growing need among professionals to gear up as well. Lawyers, like doctors can have a hard time in referencing the right book/manual/research paper when at work, even with the internet being at their disposal. To solve this difficulty among the legal community, Gaurav Srivastava and Dr Prhalad K Routh launched Mitra.ai in 2016, an AI-based platform that simplifies legal research.
What Does it Do
The platform acts as a search engine for legal research including and also shows recommended precedents. It works on an AI driven algorithm to help the legal community work in a more efficient manner by narrowing down their search based on relevant context.
Why this Idea
“The prevalent mindset about Indian judiciary system projects ‘more money better justice’. We wanted to alleviate this rationale , by democratizing judicial system by improving the productivity of legal research,” says Srivastava, whose earlier venture Zimmber was sold to Quickr for $10mn.
The Business Model
The business runs on a subscription-based model where the company offers differential pricing for various customer groups, depending on the duration of enrollment and the material accessed. The product reaches these customers through a SaaS based distribution model delivered through cloud.
The core target group are law firms , individual practitioners and law students as they spend almost 40% of their professional hours doing legal research.
Challenges and Competition
There have been some models like Mitra.ai in the market for a while now like Legal Docs, but Srivastava feels these emphasize more on day to day standardized legal formats/documents which lawyers use while filing to courts.
“We specialize in legal research domain, which essentially covers all the features to augment legal research efficiently,” he said. It contains all law manuals, including the Criminal Procedure Codes, Constitutional Laws, Civil laws etc along with case histories archived by the Supreme Court of India, Delhi High Court and Mumbai High Court. The company is working on including more case histories from courts all over India.
The Future of AI for Legal Research
AI has already opened up new frontiers for the technology Industry and is off-late being tested widely in the medical industry too. India has more than 25 million cases pending in all courts, across the country, many of which are due to limitations of the legal community to give ample time by using manual methods of legal reference. Encouraging the use of AI for legal research could bridge this gap feels Srivastava.
“ India will be at the center stage of the AI revolution with more and more companies building the depth in the domain,’ he said.