Eugene Goh & Deepika Singh from Alore spoke to Danon Gabriel The ((pronounced TAY) , CMO and Co-founder, AsiaLawNetwork.com
Alore: Can you tell us about AsiaLawNetwork.com?
Danon Gabriel The – AsiaLawNetwork.com’s mission is to provide access to justice for all. We do this by leveraging technology to make legal services much more accessible and affordable. We want to help clients find and get help from lawyers easily. At the same time, we want to help lawyers grow their practices using technology — we do not seek to replace lawyers.
Alore: How did you envision AsiaLawNetwork.com?
Danon Gabriel The – My co-founder and the CEO of AsiaLawNetwork.com, Cherilyn Tan, wanted to solve a problem that she experienced. She was looking for a lawyer and she found the whole process frustrating and challenging. Her search took too long, the consultation cost too much and, in her mind, the entire experience seemed very inefficient. Cherilyn spent some time trying to understand why this was the case and thought that this is in part because of the conservative and risk-averse nature of the legal profession in Asia (as compared with more mature legal markets like the US, the UK and Australia). What she found was the delivery of legal services has not really changed all these years. She decided to be the catalyst of change for a critical but often misunderstood service in Asia.
Alore: As a legal services platform, what is unique about AsiaLawNetwork.com?
Danon Gabriel The – There are a few things, namely:
- AsiaLawNetwork.com is an impartial and neutral matching platform.
- Largest network of lawyers in Singapore with 30% (1,500+) practicing lawyers
- Only marketing vendor in Tech Start for Law Program by Ministry of Law, Law Society of Singapore and SPRING
- Developing solutions at every stage of anyone seeking legal services to reduce friction and make it easy
- First to launch Quick Consult — now anyone can get legal advice from a practicing lawyer within 48 hours for a flat S$49 fee
Alore: Partnering with lawyers would also mean various levels of screening for competence, legal fee brackets, client references etc. How easy or tough is this aspect and why?
Danon Gabriel The – The most challenging part of starting this company was convincing lawyers in a relatively conservative industry to take a leap and try something that some of them perceive as a new-fangled fad (technology).
This has started to change in 2017 with the Tech Start for Law program, which signaled how the Singapore government understood the inevitability of legal-tech and wanted to signal support for lawyers to leverage technology to find their own success.
AsiaLawNetwork.com started with a few hundred lawyers and has since grown to 1,500+ lawyers in Singapore, with more in the region. We also had similar challenges starting Quick Consult, but this is no longer an issue.
Alore: AsiaLawNetwork.com is currently operational in APAC. Do you plan to expand globally in the near future?
Danon Gabriel The – We are focused on connecting APAC for now.
Alore: What has been your biggest learning since you started AsiaLawNetwork.com?
Danon Gabriel The – Adapting my marketing knowledge to the legal industry. Having worked at Facebook, I worked with a lot of “direct response” or “performance marketing” clients. That means that many of my clients would show ads and ask viewers to take action immediately like buying a pair of shoes or buying tickets to an event. Legal services are quite different.
Individuals seek legal services once every 3-5 years, starting in their late 20’s and early 30’s. It is potentially an expensive service and so many people take their time to decide (often postponing longer than is recommended).
A lot of my social media expertise wasn’t immediately transferable, and I had to deepen and broaden my understanding of the industry and what worked for clients in order to be effective. It was a steep learning curve but very rewarding.
Alore: As the CMO of a service-based firm, what are your three key focus areas?
Danon Gabriel The – It would be the following three:
1) Planning ahead with a calendar for everything from content to be published, social media, events and email marketing
2) Tracking metrics that matter to the firm, and
3) Focusing on ROI
Alore: You have worked with top names like Dentsu, Deloitte, Facebook etc. – what motivated you towards entrepreneurship?
Danon Gabriel The – While advising and working with many startups at Facebook, I deeply admired how many of them were making a significant impact with such limited resources. I wanted to do the same and therefore when the opportunity came, I took the leap.
About Danon Gabriel The:
Gabriel The (pronounced TAY) is the CMO and co-founder of AsiaLawNetwork.com and has 10+ years of working experience in management consulting, market research, data analytics and social media marketing for companies such as Dentsu Asia, Deloitte Analytics and Facebook. He has an MBA from INSEAD (13’D), a double major business administration Bachelor’s degree from the Singapore Management University (SMU), and was an exchange student with The Wharton School in 2003.
You can reach out to Danon here