“There’s a $200 billion legal industry at the moment,” Joshua Browder says, “and DoNotPay will hopefully one day make it free for everyone.” He plans to never charge for legal services.
The 21-year-old founder of DoNotPay, who seeks to make the legal system more fair says he taught himself to code by watching YouTube videos. He moved to from Britain to Palo Alto and works out of the same house that Mark Zuckerberg rented during his first summer creating Facebook – and it’s kind of fun to see that mundane yet renowned suburban pile today in this piece by ReasonTV.
DoNotPay’s initial focus has been to fight parking tickets, with a 50% success rate in overturning citations and saving users $16 million in fines over its first three years. The DoNotPay app works by means of a machine-learning chatbox that interviews you in order to create your defense. If you need to appear in court, you’re given a script. Browder envisions a day when robot lawyers will be allowed to defend you in court.
Using software engineering analogies, Browder explains why legal representation should not be an arcane and expensive thing, being that the law is society’s “operating system”. Due to the high fees lawyers command, they’ve had no incentive to innovate, so they’ve kept it that way. He feels it will take technological disruption from outside the legal profession to force them to change.