Law and tech as easy as 1, 2, 3
Resolution123 is harnessing the powers of tech to connect more people with employment law justice.
Carly Stebbing (UTS Bachelor of Law) and Genevieve Barry are connecting an overlooked market with legal advice, with the pair recently taking home the prize for Most Promising Social-benefit Startup at the UTS Startup Awards.
Give us your elevator pitch: what is your startup and what problem are you solving?
Resolution123 offers quick, simple and affordable employment law advice to employees. The problem is that employment law advice has become too expensive and inaccessible for the average Australian.
Why is solving this problem important?
The impacts of somebody losing their job are a problem for not just that person, but for society as a whole. Your job is probably the most important asset in your life, and you need to be able to protect it.
Another big problem is that the average Australian earns more than the eligibility requirements to receive free community legal centre advice. Typically, community legal centres won't help you if you earn over $60,000. But the way traditional law is priced, you can't afford it unless you're earning roughly $120,000. So that's a huge portion of the market; a “missing middle”, unable to afford legal advice, and we’re squarely looking at accessing that market.
What was the tipping point that prompted you to actually pursue your idea?
Working in employment law, you often get people asking for assistance, and the cost of us assisting that person would outweigh the benefit of the person pursuing the claim. Carly had an idea for an app that would be able to help an employee identify if they had an employment law claim. The Law Society of New South Wales has also identified that if lawyers don’t start using technology, it’ll be trouble for the industry.
What is your advice to someone who is on the threshold of pursuing entrepreneurship? What is a good tipping point to commit yourself to being a founder?
You have to be really passionate about the problem you're trying to solve, and know what is unique about your solution. If you are going all in to pursue your idea, then you want to be sure that the problem that you think exists is validated.
What key challenges have you faced so far running a startup?
Hiring: attracting people to come along on the journey with us. And that's probably in part because lawyers are generally very risk averse.
What are the big challenges you anticipate facing as your startup grows?
Something that we’re conscious of is the development of artificial intelligence in the law. The big firms that are incorporating large legal fees have the money to spend on learning and development, and are looking at artificial intelligence.
Therefore, we’re mindful of how we can incorporate more artificial intelligence, because traditional law companies are probably already using it or getting ready to roll it out. Right now, we don't see traditional law as our competitor, but we can foresee that they could start using AI to compete for the missing middle market.
In one year of running a startup, what's the biggest thing you've learnt so far?
The big thing is that we can be really agile, and if something’s not working, you just stop doing it. And if something is working, then you can pivot and focus more of your attention on that.
How has your experience of the UTS Startups community been so far?
It's been great to have a space to come to meet clients, but also just to have other people around you who are also innovating, trying to do things differently, and who you can bounce ideas off.
The awards pitching night has been great in terms of the experience of being able to get up in front of a crowd and pitch our idea. The entrepreneurial journey is such a rollercoaster of emotions. It's hard to get to a point where you feel like you're on a steady trajectory, but the community is very good for that, because it helps you validate ideas more quickly.
What is the next big milestone for Resolution123?
The next target is more automation of our services, so that we can service a bigger market in a faster way. We’re actually going to be working with one of the other UTS startups; road-mapping every step of the process so we can identify which parts of it can be automated. Those interested in helping us can contact Carly at email@example.com.
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