Prolawgue Interview with UniCourt CTO Prashanth Shenoy

on Topics: Future Law | Interviews | Legal Tech

Prolawgue Interview with UniCourt CTO Prashanth Shenoy

Legal technology is a booming industry with well over $1 billion in new investments in 2021 alone, along with three IPOs of legal tech’s first unicorns, each valued at over $1 billion, and a growing recognition from investors that this space is only just beginning to heat up. 

As a legal tech company, UniCourt is an industry leader in making court data more accessible and useful through our Legal Data as a Service (LDaaS) and we are happy to share the latest interview of UniCourt’s CTO and Co-Founder, Prashanth Shenoy, with Prolawgue on all things legal tech and legal data. 

Prashanth’s interview with Prolawgue covers an expansive range of topics and provides a unique perspective from the engineering side of things on how UniCourt initially formed as a legal tech company that was focused on unifying court records and court systems in one portal. 

In the interview, Prashanth shared that “Aggregation of public data sets is the core of UniCourt.” As a Legal Data as a Service provider, we are squarely focused on collecting, standardizing, and normalizing court data from state and federal courts, attorney bar data from bar associations of nearly all 50 states across the United States, and other public records like Secretary of State business records. But this is no small feat.

Prashanth goes on to share that “Courts are required by law to make court records accessible to the public, but how they make it accessible is not very well defined.” Further, “Each court typically has their own electronic court management system, and they have a front end which is an ancient website, and the way you would access that data is not really easy for the general public.”

Beyond pure aggregation of public records, UniCourt also does a great deal of normalizing those public records to identify real-world entities involved in litigation. If you want to learn more about UniCourt’s normalization and how we use seed data sets to ID entities like attorneys, law firms, businesses, and judges connected to court records, Prashanth does an excellent job in the interview of detailing both the how and the why we normalize data to improve our clients’ experience. 

You can also jump directly to the topic you’re interested in by using the helpful timestamps Prolawgue has provided:

00:00 Warm-Up!
01:54 Transition from engineering to legal tech.
04:23 What is Legal Data? How did the idea of UniCourt emerge?
07:22 What legal data sets does UniCourt deal with?
10:10 Collating data not available in the public domain.
16:53 How does UniCourt play a part in compiling data for clients based on their feedback?
19:11 What is the democratization of legal data, how is UniCourt trying to achieve that?
20:54 How does normalization help clients, how do they use it?
22:50 How does the overseas (US-India) business management function at UniCourt? Is this common in the legal tech field?
24:14 UniCourts’ engagement in the Indian market.
25:17 Prashanth’s take on the Indian legal tech market vs. US legal tech space.
29:06 What is crowdsourcing? How has it helped you tap into the legal tech space?
32:30 Hackerspace and Karnataka Digital Economy Mission.
34:00 Importance of community building.
37:33 Journey in the legal tech space as a law or engineering student?
42:13 3 things to keep in mind and avoid when starting a legal tech startup.
47:45 What tools sell?
49:15 Where do you see UniCourt going from here

Learn More and Get In Touch With Us

Big thanks to the team at Prolawgue and Shreya Vajpei for making this interview possible. We loved getting the opportunity to have Prashanth share more about UniCourt and the exciting things happening in legal tech. You can watch the full interview here.

If you’re interested in learning more about UniCourt, how Legal Data as a Service works, or have a question for Prashanth, Contact Us and we’ll be in touch.