If you need to fight a speeding ticket, Stevens alumnus Pratik Joshi is your guy. He is a co-founder of LegalJacket.com, a startup dedicated to helping Hudson County citizens find an attorney to represent them in court. The free website enables people to enter basic information about their speeding ticket anonymously and receive price estimates for representation from local attorneys.
Joshi, who graduated in December 2012 with his M.S. in Computer Science and who is currently balancing running the startup with other commitments, collaborated with Shawn Jaison, a Rutgers graduate, and Kushal Sanghvi and Satyan Soni, two childhood friends from India, to launch LegalJacket.com this year.
Using the programming skills he learned during his master’s degree study at Stevens, Joshi was instrumental in creating the company’s distinctive algorithm which, based on information entered in by the user, determines the complexity of a potential court case and calculates a price.
“The accuracy of the algorithm is the most important and unique feature of our company,” said Joshi.
In addition to creating the logic, Joshi also helped to design the website and look after its technical details.
“Stevens played a vital role for me,” he said. “It helped me to be innovative and improved my creative thinking abilities. The coursework also helped me enhance my technical skills, which made designing our website easy.”
Now that LegalJacket.com has launched, Joshi works as an administrator to make sure full functionality is in place for both users and lawyers. He also markets LegalJacket.com to new customers through social media advertising, especially Facebook, which he has found to be very cost effective.
“We’ve had great results so far,” Joshi said.
Joshi said one of the most difficult parts of the entrepreneurial process was learning about local laws, since neither Joshi nor his partners have a legal background. The team read law books and interviewed attorneys until they fully understood the process of finding an attorney to help you fight a speeding ticket.
Most of LegalJacket.com’s lawyer customers, who have to pay to become members, have come from word of mouth referrals, and the team is looking to contract more.
“This ensures the high quality of our attorneys, one of our most important priorities,” Joshi said.
So far, Joshi said LegalJacket.com, which has kept its expenses very low, is turning a profit.
“The company is doing great,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of unique visitors come to the site.”
Eventually, the team plans to expand LegalJacket.com beyond Hudson County to other areas of New Jersey. They also hope to offer their attorney-matching and cost estimation services for legal issues beyond speeding tickets, such as other traffic violations or personal injury cases.
Learn more at www.LegalJacket.com.