Devshi Mehrotra was a computer science undergraduate at the University of Chicago when she and classmate Leslie Jones-Dove developed JusticeText, an platform that makes it easier for public defenders to review and analyze the massive quantities of police body cam and other video footage that is becoming increasingly common in criminal cases.
At the time, Mehrotra (pictured above right with Jones-Dove) never envisioned it as a company or a career. But a year after graduating, as video of police misconduct brought the country to a national reckoning around racial justice and criminal justice reform, she realized that it was exactly what she was meant to do. For someone with no background in law or entrepreneurship, it was, she says, a terrifying leap of faith.
Since then, JusticeText has built a solid base of public defender offices as customers and it recently raised a seed financing round of $2.2 million. Meanwhile, Mehrotra and Jones-Dove have gained recognition and accolades for their innovative product and their social-justice mission, including having both been named to the Fastcase 50 for 2022, having been named by Smithsonian Magazine as among Sixteen Innovators to Watch in 2022, and having been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2021.
In this episode of LawNext, Mehrotra joins host me to share the story of how and why she built JusticeText and of what the future holds for the still-nascent company.
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