As a result of a collaborative research project into client interpretation and expression of legal issues, Legal Utopia founded the L.U.E app which is described as ‘your on-demand legal checker’ (Legal Utopia, 2020). The research found that of 9,200 consumers and small businesses that were asked, 83% of them wanted an app to help them with their legal issues (Hilborne, 2020). It further indicated that algorithms could effectively categorise legal problems without human involvement (Hilborne, 2020).
Users must subscribe to the app and there are a range of paid subscription options for consumers and businesses (Legal Utopia, 2020). This was introduced as a result of the research suggesting the majority of people would pay for a platform that could help them identify and resolve a legal issue (Hilborne, 2020). However, other research suggests that users seek open-access websites and so paid subscription options may not be appropriate for all innovations in the justice sector. This will depend on the specific user group.
The app uses AI and natural language processing (NLP) to offer legal advice to clients across a range of sectors (Legal Utopia, 2020). The app firstly asks the user to express their legal issue in their own words (Legal Utopia, 2020). This is particularly useful as users may not be aware of what legal sector their issue falls under and may help them to feel control over the process. The research indicated that there was a clear consistency with the wording that consumers used to identify their dispute and that this could be drawn on to develop the innovation (Hilborne, 2020). The user is then asked further questions to refine the dispute (Legal Utopia, 2020). This is comparable to platforms that offer guided pathways and is beneficial as the advice can be tailored to the individual user.
The in-built app search engine supports users to identify their legal issue and find solutions (Legal Utopia, 2020). The app instantly delivers a legal diagnosis, legal guidance, recommended services and resources as well as a legal aid eligibility checker (Legal Utopia, 2020). The instant delivery of advice is consistent with the expectation that users may have of technology. The app does not have use a referral service but does have a database of legal services providers that the user can access (Hilborne, 2020).
1. Legal Utopia (2020) About Us [online]. Available from: www.legalutopia.co.uk/about-us [Accessed 14th April].
2. Legal Utopia (2020) L.U.E [online]. Available from: www.legalutopia.co.uk/what-l-u-e-can-do [Accessed 14th April].
3. Hilborne, N. (2020) SME legal app launches with consumer version to follow [online]. Legal Futures. Available from: www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-news/sme-legal-app-launches-with-consumer-version-to-follow [Accessed 14th April].
4. Legal Utopia (2020) LegalUtopia.app [online]. Available from: www.legalutopia.app/ [Accessed 14th April].