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Published on June 8, 2008

Written by Liffy Thomas

There are three million cases pending in India's 21 High Courts and over 26.3 million cases pending in the various subordinate courts across the country. Not that there are not enough advocates to fight these cases. According to the Bar Council of India, there are over a million lawyers in the country; 60,000 law students graduate every year.

If these numbers are any indication of how slow and daunting India's legal system is, then this new portal,, promises to help you identify the best possible lawyer. The start-up is the brainchild of two friends - Anoop Vincent of India-based Neosys Inc and Nitish John of US-based Nubia Inc - who hope to bridge the gap between clients and lawyers. How did it all start?

Nitish was working on creating an online legal framework for customers in the US, but discontinued after he learnt that the country already had them. He shot the idea to Anoop and the two decided to implement it in India. "If you look at the online legal market in India, there are only a couple of yellow pages listing lawyers from various parts of the country," says Anoop on how they decided to fill the void.

While the beta version of AdvocateKhoj has been active for over the last six months, the website was officially launched this April. What is also interesting is that both the founders come from engineering backgrounds. "Not having any legal experience has only come to our advantage. This way we could develop a platform which was not biased; catered to both the clients and advocates," says Nitish.

Anoop takes care of the operations, marketing and customer support from his office in Visakhapatnam, while Nitish has been instrumental in developing the technology and hosting the website from the US. This apart, the duo has been researching and interacting with lawyers for the last three years.

So, if you are looking for an advocate to fight any legal case, all you have to do is scout for the most appropriate lawyer - basing on his/her experience, cases fought, or anything for the matter - from the data base of lawyers registered with the site. "A client does not have to pay any upfront charges for any of the services. The payment comes into picture only after the client has decided upon the lawyer to take his case forward," says Anoop.

Lawyers register by paying a subscription fee, where they have access to a database of cases. Currently, they are working on a database of over 10,000 lawyers from different parts of India. "Of the 250 locations we are networking with, we have over 1000 advocates who have registered with us." says Anoop.

Talking about their initial hiccups in launching the portal, Anoop says, convincing lawyers about such a platform was a task. Nitish also agrees they have spent sleepless night brainstorming on the venture.

Funding? "One of the most daunting tasks for a start-up is getting the working capital. Thankfully, a Tier II city like Vizag helped us in keeping our expenditure low compared to a metro. The city also offers a ready pool of engineering graduates," he says.

The team is confident about taking AdvocateKhoj to a larger scale. Until then, they are working on launching the part II of the website, which will have a chat window and information on judgments from various courts - on Web 2.0 domain, among others.

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