LegitQuest is the latest in the line of ventures aiming to integrate technology with legal research. Run by Rohit Shukla, Karan Kalia and Himanshu Puri (pictured L-R), LegitQuest aims to make life easier for lawyers, students, and judges alike by considerably decreasing the time spent on legal research..Bar & Bench caught up with lawyer Karan Kalia, who once worked with Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani, to discuss the features of LegitQuest and what will set it apart from existing online resources, prior to its impending launch..What is LegitQuest?.Significant gaps in the legal research domain in India gives a strong reason for any young, courageous and innovative company to drive a solution. LegitQuest is a Legal-Tech venture run by a versatile team of tech-savvy attorneys, engineers, designers and management professionals who aim to make the practice of law simpler for its end users..We seek to transform complex and unstructured legal data for the benefit of the legal fraternity. We have built a one of its kind go-to platform with the most updated technologies for attorneys, law firms, state judicial officers, law students, corporates, the government, consulting companies, litigants, and many other stakeholders in the legal system..Our aim is to reduce the total time spent on finding as well as analysing the case judgements by the end user. LegitQuest follows a freemium model, where the user gets a free database and pays for the valuable features on a subscription basis..What was the inspiration behind LegitQuest?.While I was practising law, online legal research was challenging. I had always wondered that in the 21st century, when Google is the answer to everything, why can’t we have something similar for law in India? It was difficult for me to come out of the conventional lawyer’s mindset and get into the legal tech space..You won’t believe that while doing my LL.M. in 2015, I refused to give my exams using the university software. Instead, I traditionally wrote the exams through pen and paper. Early 2016, I had a presentation in my law school on the sources of legal search in South East Asia. While preparing for the presentation, I realised that we have been relying on and using old technology tools. In India, such tools provide data without any value except the headnotes..My biggest inspiration is a strong desire to contribute to the field of law. I have been inspired and encouraged by Mr Ram Jethmalani on those lines. I aim to make a valuable, usable and hassle-free search engine for the legal systems across the globe..How do you feel LegitQuest will transform the way lawyers research?.Our commitment to LegitQuest stems from an initiative of the Free Case Law programme. We are committed to providing free case laws in the most reliable, accurate and speedy manner. A good search engine should have a comprehensive, publicly available, online database..At this moment, Indian Kanoon is the only portal providing a free database, but it is not acceptable by the Courts in India. Whereas at LegitQuest, authenticity, originality and quality are the core principles followed. We are confident that the judgments will be acceptable by the Courts. Hence, we are, in a sense, revolutionising and transforming the way Indian legal stakeholders do their research..How did you go about setting it up?.I started to pen down the concept in February 2016. It was very difficult to find the technology team to start off the project. Fortunately, my cousins in Singapore were instrumental in giving a push to the project. They helped me find the tech team that I initially required to make a prototype and provide structure to my concept. It took me a year to get onto the prototype and build a group of highly-qualified attorneys, engineers and management professionals..Around June 2017, things moved faster. I was able to get Himanshu Puri (CBO) and Rohit Shukla (CTO) to join the team. Himanshu is a management professional with more than eight years of experience and an MBA from IBS, Hyderabad. Rohit is an IIT (Mumbai) and IIM (Calcutta) alumnus who has more than 20 years of experience. He was the CTO for Lexis India for quite some time..What are the different product features on offer?.At the time of launch, LegitQuest would offer iSearch and iDRAF. iSearch is the search feature which is powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics. iSearch browses through millions of records and gives you the most relevant results in seconds. It primarily reduces the time taken to find the case laws..iDRAF is a revolutionary feature which will help you reduce the time in analysing the case law. With the help of deep learning and natural language processing, we can cull out the issues, facts, arguments, reasoning, and the decision of every judgment of the Supreme Court of India since 1950. It takes the user to the most relevant and accurate part of the judgment in a fraction of a second..iGraphics is another utility feature. For the first time in India, one would be able to see the treatment of case law condensed in the form of graphics and can map the treatment of being relied on, distinguished, overruled etc. up to the latest case law. iGraphics is trained to understand the treatment parameters, which is then checked for quality and reliability by the team of experts. So, now you do not have to waste time reading the entire judgment only to find that it has been overruled. Attorneys always want to find out the latest case which works in their favour, as the most recent case will have the settled law..We have also been working on collecting secondary sources of information. The purpose is to provide all stakeholders with a broader perspective while researching and to make users think beyond what is already available. While the law is continuously evolving, we need to have the most up-to-date information. Such secondary sources will provide students, lawyers, judges, researchers, scholars and others to read something apart from just the judgment..Are you doing anything specific for the students/young generation of Lawyers?.Yes, absolutely. They are the future, and there is a need for young lawyers to sharpen their skills consistently. In our launch scheduled this year, we will be launching a gamification feature called iCite for law students. It will help students learn how to read and understand cases and also earn more professional opportunities..Also, we have recently concluded hiring of our first batch of Campus Ambassadors spread across the country. Campus Ambassadors would represent LegitQuest at different forums, Universities and Courts..Where have the existing search engines fallen short?.Well, the list is long. We believe that the value of judgment has multiple facets. Headnotes are not the only value one can derive from judgment. We have worked on these new features, and you will see where the existing ones have fallen short. We are focused on providing our users the best experience with a secure, user-friendly, and sophisticated system which will provide ease of legal research to all..The existing search engines do not have any flexibility regarding services and pricing. What they sell is the database and not the value or the features. These judgments are already available online for free. So, what is the value they are adding?.You have Mr Ram Jethmalani as your patron. How did you go about convincing him to get on board?.It was not very difficult for us to get him as our investor, advisor and patron. The moment we told him about the concept, he was convinced. He believes that something like LegitQuest is much needed for the transformation of the existing legal research space..Of course, he still believes that reading books is the best thing. But for the majority of lawyers in our country, it is impossible to buy those books. They are very expensive, and if even if you buy them, you can’t have a place to keep them..I’ll quote few lines what he wrote while agreeing to be on board with us:.“As a book lover and an avid reader, I have always loved to read and research from books. I feel in the coming few years technology will play a key role and will transform the centuries-old unorganised and unstructured legal sources. India is turning digital, and it is now time that the legal industry gets its due of using the sophisticated artificial intelligence technology.”.Mr. Jethmalani has been appreciative of the fact that we are providing judgments for free..What is your roadmap for the future?.Once we complete the iDRAF feature for the Supreme Court, we will complete the various High Courts, Tribunal and Commissions in a phased manner. Also, we are in the process of devising features like Legit Eye and iAlert. We are also working on our iPublish feature, which will encourage well-researched and quality papers to be published on the LegitQuest portal.