Somya Kaushik is the founder and CEO of
a document marketplace for lawyers, by lawyers. EsqMe launched in 2017 and is headquartered in New York, New York. Learn more about Somya and her company by reading our interview below.
Tell us a little about EsqMe? What inspired you to start the company?
EsqMe is a lawyer-to-lawyer document marketplace for solo practitioners and small law firms across the country. It gives lawyers a way to get access to other attorney work product so they don’t have to reinvent the wheel with similar research and drafting, and can actually focus on practicing law. The idea started when I was practicing as a lawyer in a small NYC law firm, and realized how ineffective our use of time and money was for both the firm and our clients. I was wasting a lot of time and money on starting cases from scratch when I knew another attorney had done something similar before. If I had access to their work product and research, I would have saved thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, all while making our clients happier with faster representation. At that time, there was no formal method of exchanging information between lawyers, so I created EsqMe!
How is EsqMe help changing the world?
We are changing the way law is practiced: taking it from competitive and individualistic to collaborative and effective. Our market is enormous yet highly underserved. Solos and small firms make up $200B of the legal industry in the US, yet we are still practicing with pen and paper, spending time doing work that’s not-billable, and using archaic tools that we can’t afford. We are giving lawyers the technology to practice without having to worry about each minute and dime spent. In turn, we are giving clients faster and cost-effective representation.
What are some challenges you’ve faced?
Lawyers are hard to convince! Changing the way lawyers practice is our biggest challenge as a company, and we’re aware that it will take some time but we are confident that this is the future of law. As a founder, the biggest challenges I’ve faced is (1) getting others to fully understand EsqMe’s impact on the legal industry and (2) rising above those who have denied interest in EsqMe because they didn’t believe in the long term dedication of a female led company.
What’s been your biggest win so far?
We’ve been featured in some big legal journals, conferences and events that have considered us the future of the practice of law! I believe that understanding the idea and vision is the first step to big change. Getting into Ready Set Raise was a big win as well. We’ve really grown a lot since our first week here and I’m confident we’ll be in a much stronger position at the end of this program.
How do you define success?
Success to us is building a product or service that helps as many people as possible. EsqMe not only helps millions of attorneys in the US, it also serves millions of clients who find the current legal representation too slow and costly. Success on a personal level means being confident in myself, my vision, and my decisions. Our personalities, thoughts, decisions etc., are constantly being challenged both internally and externally, and it’s important to know who you are and where you’re going before letting others affect you. I strongly believe that being an entrepreneur isn’t only about having a great idea, but it’s also about who truly believes in themselves, the path their paving, and the idea(s) they stand for.