Startup Alley: Jurisage


Elevator Pitch: We reduce mental stress and reclaim revenue loss caused by the multi-billion dollar “do I need to read this” problem. MyJr from Jurisage is a browser extension that works on any web page to improve your experience by delivering case law insights directly into your workflow. Stop opening new tabs for every cited authority and just hover over the citation to quickly understand cited cases without leaving your current page or breaking your flow. Focused intelligence for focused lawyers.

What makes you unique or innovative? Like large and innovative legal research and publishing companies, we combine AI tech, proprietary data and deep domain expertise to extracting and organizing the intelligence and insights contained in case law. We differ significantly in that the other companies seek to own the entire research experience, and while some offer APIs, none are built around technological unbundling and integration as core operating principles.

What problem do you solve? We solve the multi-billion dollar “do I need to read this” problem.

Multi-billion? Seriously? Yes! Regardless of the purpose of a research session or engagement with a case, lawyers want to spend as little time as possible on irrelevant material and bad research leads. Moreover, no lawyer wants to spend more time on the research task than necessary or go too far beyond the client’s willingness or ability to pay for that research time.

ABA surveys reveal that lawyers under 10 years at the Bar or under 40 years of age spend on average more than 25% of their time on legal research. Across the US and Canada, that cohort represents around 400,000 attorneys who, when taking account of their research hours and average billing rates, should collectively be collecting over $100 billion in legal research-related revenue annually. However, large portions of that time is not recorded, or recorded but not billed, or billed but not realized. The reasons why go beyond time wasted reading irrelevant material or time re-visiting long passages of cases to find the insight needed in the moment, but efforts like that factor heavily into decisions by lawyers not to record research time, not to bill research time, and to write down the research time on bills when the clients push back.

Outside of the demographic of the heaviest researchers, the impact may be lower, but most lawyers will need to read at least some case law from time to time and so the total amount of lost revenue potential due to realized payment on legal research from this group easily measures in the billions as well.

We solve the “do I need to read this” problem by providing instant access to focused case law intelligence right in the lawyer’s legal research workflow. This keeps their research time focused on the content that matters and allows them to reach their research objective in less time and with greater confidence. Reclaimed time can be put to other billable activities and greater confidence that the time was properly and effectively spent leads to more accurate research time recording, higher alignment between recorded and billed time, and fewer write downs on billed research time.

Consider that whether as a result of a well-crafted search or because of case authority cited in an opponent’s brief, a researcher with a list of 10 cases to read, each citing anywhere from a few to potentially dozens of additional authorities, has to decide how many cases they need to read, how deeply they want to engage and how far down the rabbit hole of cited authorities they have to go to consolidate their knowledge and consider their research complete.

On their initial legal research platform, the path involves opening countless new tabs of either full-text or other explanatory materials. Beyond the wasted time and associated financial opportunity costs resulting from the irrelevant materials, and beyond the added mental stress and cognitive load that comes from reduced focus and comprehension caused by bouncing through tabs of full case cases, surveys also tell us that this kind of “”value disconnect”” between effort and perceived value is a chief contributor to lawyer burnout.

Our approach of enabling on-demand access to legal intelligence and case law insights accessible as a pop-up by simply hovering over the citation that appears on the web page, means the lawyer can read less and know more. They can more easily spot and focus on what’s relevant to their research session and what can be safely ignored. In the end, they can feel more confident about the time spent on a research task and reclaim the time not wasted and repurpose it to other billable work or to whatever makes them happiest!

If solely repurposed to billable, every reclaimed research hour at a conservative $350/hr very quickly adds up to the thousands and tens of thousands for each lawyer and to the billions and tens of billions when aggregated across the legal profession.

Your competitors? We compete for the time researchers spend on commercial legal research platforms like Westlaw, Lexis and Casetext by allowing researchers to read less but know more. As a value add, we are not a substitute for an existing product offered by these companies, but an additional service that reduces the time and frustration users experience on those platforms. In effect, we compete with these companies for clicks after the initial search is done and it’s time to read the cases through our approach of enabling on-demand access to legal intelligence and case law insights accessible as a pop-up by simply hovering over the citation that appears on the web page.

With an “anywhere” approach to providing the insights, we compete with every legal research platform for the time and attention of their users on their platform, but as no legal research platform company currently offers gateways into their intelligence from a competitor’s platform, every battle is discrete and limited to a single researcher in a single research session.

Our competitive positioning means that once we get in the browser bar, we are always in the running for consideration at every new research session. Our Google Chrome Store records tell us that 95% of every person that currently has Jurisage among their browser extensions has it enabled, meaning it is able to be clicked and used at any time.

Demo video:

Founded: 6/30/2022, Ottawa, ON

Target customer. Target customer is the individual legal research lawyer irrespective of the firm or professional work environment.

Price.  Final pricing has not been decided. Expectations are that it will be in the $20-40 USD monthly range, with discounts for annual and multi-user contracts. Law students, legal clinics, judges and court staff will soon be offered the expanded service for free.

Expected 2022/2023 gross revenue? N/A.

Number of users/paying customers? N/A.

Traction to date. We have three, and will soon have four, unique revenue streams. Current streams include the MyJr/Jurisage dashboard presales, which will shortly convert into subscription; content licensing royalties related to the global republication of the Canadian case law collection we own; and subscription software revenue from a custom matter-management platform used by one of Canada’s largest law firms. The fourth stream, expected to begin generating recurring revenue by March, will be in respect of the Jurisage case insights APIs and partner integration. With respect to the fourth stream, we are currently at different stages of negotiation with 6 separate companies interested in incorporating Jurisage capabilities into their offerings.

Plan for growth over next five years. Our core growth will come from the insight tools we create – both retail and through partner integrations. We see ourselves of bridging legal questions and legal answers, and providing the highest value output to the narrowest possible input. “”Narrow input”” on the partner integration side will always be some manner of API call, but on the direct-to-user side, we see it evolving from where we are (input=case citation) to direct questions and interactive discussions.

The explosion of interest and expectation around ChatGPT, the coming GPT-4 and other large language models suggests to us that the potential for providing answers versus high value and contextually essential data will come much faster than any of us expected. We will prioritize service outputs on which user can rely and that we can explain, while nonetheless pushing forward in ways that let lawyers, and eventually others, place greater reliance on the legal insights we make available.

Geographically, we expect to focus 75% of our efforts on Canada and 25% on the US in the first half of 2023, and then 50%/50% in the second half. Beyond that, we’d hope to introduce UK, Australia and other common law countries into the mix.”

Outside funding. Less than $1M in outside funding

Describe any ways in which your company is diverse or promotes diversity. In the initial set up of our company, our complement of resources seconded from AltaML and external contractors was comprised of a multinational and multicultural cohort. As we grow, we anticipate developing policies to ensure diversity among our team, board and advisors.