Lawdingo, The Startup That Lets You Talk To Lawyers Instantly, Joins Y Combinator

Lawdingo, a startup that connects users with lawyers for online consultations (sometimes instantly), is announcing that it’s part of the current class of startups at Y Combinator.

I last wrote about Lawdingo in November. You can browse lawyers on the site based on their expertise and location, and if you find one you like, you can schedule an appointment or in some cases hit the “talk now” button. The goal is to make finding a lawyer more convenient and more affordable. (On the affordability side, many of the lawyers on the site offer free consultations, and since you’re choosing from a broad geographic selection, you can probably find lower rates.)

Founder and CEO Nikhil Nirmel told me that he hadn’t expected to get into YC. That might sound like false modesty, except that as a solo, non-technical founder, his situation really is a bit unusual for the incubator – so they must have seen something they really liked. (He’s working with a team in Eastern Europe, but Nirmel is still the only full-time Lawdingo employee in the United States.)

lawdingo - profile

There are now more than 450 lawyers on the site. As he put it, “We’ve scaled faster than any law firm.”

And the business model is evolving. Originally, Lawdingo charged a subscription fee, but Nirmel said that with the varying marketing budgets between different law firms, as well as the fact that different leads for potential clients had different values, that flat fee didn’t make sense for everyone. Instead, he’s moved towards an auction model, where lawyers bid to have their profiles shown to particular users. Over time, as the amount of lawyers on the site grows, they’ll need to bid higher if they want their profiles to show up on the most popular legal topics.