Similar to other industries that embrace contract work, legal trades is giving legal professionals a way to become independent and run their own virtual law firms.
Raad Ahmed and Ashish Walia started the company in 2016 with an initial focus on startups and small businesses, trying to find the product-to-market fit (how to do it), but finding that legal use among companies of this size was often project-based, little frequent and short-term if the company goes bankrupt.
In 2019, the company started working with mid-tier and corporate companies selling to legal departments, and that’s when growth took off, Ahmed told Ploonge.
Today, Lawtrades works with companies like Doordash, Gusto and Pinterest to offer them a marketplace of professionals who can be hired remotely and flexibly. Its technology allows professionals and companies to create profiles and adapt to opportunities, monitor projects and pay through the platform.
“Ultimately, it’s a new model of Internet-native work that we’re starting with cool because it’s a $100 billion market that hasn’t been disrupted much in the last 100 years,” Ahmed said.
He and Walia wanted to build a different hiring experience from companies like LinkedIn, where companies would have to weed out hundreds of candidates to find the few qualified ones. Professionals are also able to provide a fixed pricing structure, unlike law firms that have overhead and other company costs that are typically accounted for in billable hours.
After doubling revenue in 2021, it closed a $6 million Series A round, led by Four Cities Capital, with participation from Draper Associates and 500 Startups. The round also included nearly 100 clients, angel investors and company founders, including Gumroad founder Sahil Lavingia, Teachable’s Ankur Nagpal and GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani.
“Given the world finally adopting remote legal work and more lawyers leaving large law firms to work on their own, we are cashflow positive and leveraging revenue-based financing so we don’t have to make a large diluted capital increase” . said Ahmed.
At the end of 2021, Lawtrades had 80 clients on the platform and 150 active engagements. On the talent side, there are more than 1,000 profiles, up from the 400 created by the end of 2020. It is currently running on an invite-only model, and 5% are accepted on the network. The composition of the network is 60% women and more than 35% are minorities.
In December, the company’s revenue was $8 million, up from $3 million in early 2021, Ahmed added. More than $11 million has been earned on the platform to date across the network and more than 60,000 hours of work have been logged on the platform in 2021, a 200% increase from 2020.
Ahmed plans to use the new funding to rebrand the company, launch an iOS app, expand into other professional categories such as financial and management consulting, and gain an international presence. He also intends to double the current number of Lawtrades employees from 15 to 30 in products, support and sales.
“The world of work is in a unique position,” he added. “People are working remotely and companies are looking for talent, so it’s an all-out talent war with the best people getting the best deals. With our model, the power lies with the individual to choose the type of work they want to do. That’s how we’re able to attract amazing talent and then get companies that want to hire them. We are repeating and pushing the limits of the 40-hour workweek.”