Julie Saltman is the ideal person to make information searches easier for lawyers. She was a seasoned attorney at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and worked on some high-profile cases during the Obama Administration.
Throughout this career, she encountered issues and irritation with the existing available technology.
“I felt really frustrated as a lawyer when I was looking for information within our internal system,” Saltman told Technical.ly.
After speaking with other attorneys, Saltman realized it was a common problem — and that she could do something about it. In 2022, she founded legal tech startup Standd, which works as a “copilot” for lawyers to find the information they need and generate insights.
This innovation plugs right into an issue facing lawyers of all practice foci. Traditionally, law firms invest heavily in secure data storage. But knowledge management systems only store data, they don’t make search easier for lawyers. Standd integrates with existing systems and its AI-powered web-based search platform is automatic, meaning law firms don’t need to tag or catalog information to use Standd.
“You can only bill for meaningful time. The time lawyers take searching for information is usually not billable,” Saltman said. “We reduce non-billable time and free up lawyers’ time so they can bill more and generate more business.”
Since its founding, Standd was selected for the AWS Impact Accelerator for Women and just completed Techstars Seattle, where the company won best pitch (not to mention, it was also recognized as one of the honorable mentions in Technical.ly’s 2023 RealLIST Startups).
With a slower economy, law firms are doing more with less and are looking for ways to drive revenue and increase margins. These macroeconomic conditions are driving demand for Standd, Saltman said, which is launching pilots this month and has 40 law firms on a waitlist.
“We have more interest than we can currently handle as a small team, which is a good problem to have,” said Saltman.
Saltman also plans to raise a pre-seed round in early Q2. “I am raising sooner than anticipated because we had so much customer interest and investor visibility from Techstars Demo Day,” she said. “We will use the funds to grow the team, support early customers and work through our backlog of customers.
With her background as a DOJ attorney and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Saltman thought investors would love her legal background. However, as she meets with investors, she is surprised that her 15 years as an attorney are sometimes looked down upon. It’s a stigma she hopes to avoid by finding the right funders.
“Some investors look for a certain profile of a founder, which is usually that of a young, white male, someone who can’t handle a 9 to 5 job and just had to build a product and hustle,” said Saltman. “If someone can’t get past what a founder should look like, then he or she is probably not the right investor for Standd.”
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