Lawyer

LawPivot lawyers up from Apple

March 7, 2011: 1:53 PM ET

The innovative Google Ventures Law services site is getting advice from former top Apple lawyer, Dan Cooperman.

LawPivot is kind of a Quora-ish Q&A site for legal advice for startups and small businesses.  Lawyers post profiles and answer questions online in their forums.  Business owners can then find legal advice by asking LawPivot legal questions.  Those questions are tagged and matched against a database of information gathered from the lawyers on the subject matter.

As with most Google (GOOG) Ventures properties, there is some Computer Science behind the match-making.  LawPivot-vetted lawyers are ranked by an algorithm on how well and promptly they answer questions.  The best rise to the top of the rankings.

The leadership team consists of  three former intelectual property lawyers. Co-founder and VP of Business development Nitin Gupta and VP of Engineering Steven Kam are former intellectual property litigation lawyers at Townsend & Townsend & Crew, a top national intellectual property law firm.  LawPivot CEO and Co-founder Jay Mandel was the lead mergers and acquisitions lawyer and a commercial law team member at Apple (AAPL) before founding LawPivot.  Mandel has said,

"Even at Apple, with 100 lawyers, we had trouble finding people to fit our needs for specialty things, say for example Washington state commercial law, or expertise in a certain kind of software. And then if you did find them, there was no way to test them out."

His old boss at Apple is now on the team. LawPivot announced today that former Apple senior legal exec, Dan Cooperman will be joining the Board of Advisors.

Cooperman said:

"I am excited to join LawPivot's Board of Advisors.  The company's well-designed technology platform and intuitive user interface provide an efficient and inexpensive way for lawyers to reach new clients and expand their practices.  Moreover, this convenient new service enables companies to quickly identify and evaluate lawyers before formally retaining them.  In these important respects, LawPivot's new service promises to revolutionize the way in which legal services are provided."

LawPivot secured $600,000 in funding from Google Ventures and angel investors in January and appear to be ramping up.  Gupta told me that business legal advice is the first step.  LawPivot could become a general purpose social site for lawyers and legal questions of all types down the road.

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