August 18, 2019 | 74° F

Rutgers alumnus creates site to inform students of legal options

Traditionally, students seeking legal services search “lawyer in New Brunswick, N.J.” and call the first or second lawyer listed. They need to explain the case to each attorney before they can compare each attorney’s fee. co-founder Shawn Jaison is trying to make this process less strenuous.

The website freely provides both legal review and price estimates from attorneys in the local area.

LegalJacket’s process guides users to fill out a basic survey regarding their particular legal issues and immediately generates online estimates for local lawyers, said Jaison, a Rutgers alumnus.

The service offers consultation for nine different legal issues including speeding tickets, simple assaults, driving under the influence convictions, hit and run incidents as well as driving with a suspended license or without insurance and registration.

Jaison was inspired to create LegalJacket after he helped a friend fight a speeding ticket and had to deal with the frustrating and unclear process of seeking fairly priced estimates for legal representation.

He founded LegalJacket with Pratik Joshi, Kushal Sanghvi and Satyan Soni so others will not need to endure the same troubles that he did.

“We first launched in Hudson County, and we only did speeding tickets, but based on all the traffic, we actually extended to cover nine legal issues,” he said.

As of Oct. 2, LegalJacket expanded to cover all of New Jersey, according to an email from Jaison.

Currently staffed by four associates and three lawyers, Jaison said the team is rapidly expanding.

Officially launched in July, LegalJacket has already attracted nearly 9,000 page hits, said James Manchester, an associate for the service.

“We intend to continue to strengthen our presence throughout New Jersey and soon on to the tri-state area,” he said.

Vik Advani, a local attorney who works with LegalJacket, said the company’s team spends much of its time discussing the operational realities of the practice. They developed an effective algorithm that makes the service possible.

When visiting the website, users must select their offense and specify where the offense occurred.

“[You also] select a few variables like ‘No I’m not going to settle for this, I’m going to fight this’ or ‘I would rather going to plead this and get out of here as soon as I can’ or ‘I need a payment plan for this,’” Advani said.

Once users submit their information to LegalJacket, the website gives them information on lawyers.

“Within a matter of seconds, you have three or four lawyers giving you what their rates are. It’s a very unique thing,” he said.

Jaison said one of the most rewarding aspects of the startup is being able to help other people in situations in which they may not have realized they needed help.

By Janine Puhak

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