The founders of a Mark Cuban-backed startup think they can help lawyers do more good for the world
Jin S. Lee/Business Insider
- One of Mark Cuban's latest investments is in Paladin, a startup in the legal technology area, a company he and its founders touted at Business Insider's IGNITION conference on Monday.
- Paladin's service is designed to pair up lawyers looking to fulfill their pro-bono obligations with those who can't afford legal aid.
- The company's founders argue that Paladin is in the right place at the right time - those in need are facing a growing number of legal crises, while there's a growing focus on the social consciousness of attorneys and firms.
Mark Cuban made a name for himself and made lots of money entertaining people, whether through his ownership of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team or as the host of the show "Shark Tank."Advertisement
Now the billionaire businessman is hoping to use some of his wealth to help those far less fortunate than him.
Cuban is backing a company called Paladin that has designed a system designed to pair up lawyers wanting to fulfill their obligations to do pro-bono work with those who need but can't afford legal services. On Monday, he joined Paladin founders Felicity Conrad and Kristen Sonday at Business Insider's IGNITION conference to explain and tout the new service."I'm looking for companies that have an impact," Cuban said. He continued: "What Paladin is doing is important."
The American Bar Association, the professional association for lawyers, recommends that attorneys provide at least 50 hours of work for free each year to non-profit groups or to people unable to afford a lawyer. Many lawyers don't meet that goal. Meanwhile, Paladin estimates that some 86% of the people who need legal services don't get it because they can't afford a lawyer.Paladin attempts to match up the two sides. It works with law firms, law schools, and corporate legal departments that are looking for pro-bono work for their attorneys and pairs them up with legal-aid organizations that help those in need. Read this: IGNITION 2018: Hear from billionaire investor Mark Cuban and 2 cofounders who scored a deal with himAdvertisement
Paladin may be in the right place at the right time
The three think they are founded Paladin at just the right time. There have been a growing number of legal-access crises in recent years, most notably those faced by immigrants due to the policies of the Trump administration, they noted. So there's a growing need for legal aid among those who can least afford it, they say.
Jin S. Lee/Business Insider
That Conrad and Sonday are the founders of Paladin is unusual not just for the tech industry in general, but for the legal technology sector in particular. Even today, women founders represent a small portion of all startup teams and get only a small fraction of the funding of their male counterparts.
But women and people of color are needed for companies in this sector, Sonday argued. Women and people of color are much more likely to be in the group that Paladin is seeking to help than white males. To be able to help them, it needs to have people who can empathize with their plight, she said."I think it's really important that the people building these solutions are the ones that are closest to the problem," she said.Advertisement
- Read more:
- Former Facebook exec Mary Lou Jepsen said her new company will make telepathy possible. But first, it's going to upend the medical-imaging industry
- Uber is betting that its global empire will be key to winning the bike and scooter wars
- How an LA upstart is redefining the media world by helping African-American millennials 'tell their own story'
- Meet the two-year-old Silicon Valley startup that beat Amazon to creating the world's largest fully autonomous drone delivery system
- Inox, PVR stocks surge, BookMyShow heaves a sigh of relief as cinemas are set to reopen from October 15
- September auto sales show Indian auto manufacturers are almost back at pre-COVID levels — commercial vehicles continue to lag
- NASA's new project will let you 'patrol' outer space for new planets
- Twitter aims to have 50% of global workforce to be women by 2025
- COVID-19 active cases in India remain below 10 lakh for 10 days in a row