'Robo-Lawyer' launched for property investing

Legal and fintech startup Bootstrap Legal, brainchild of seasoned lawyer and crowdfunder GC Amy Wan, has launched software that automates the drafting of complex legal paperwork for those raising capital for property projects of $2 million and under.

Tatiana Shepeleva

The company believes that this is the first time real estate investors can draft their own legal offering documents using artificial intelligence. The new online service was launched in recognition of the changing marketplace of real estate investing with an increasing number of smaller investors able to access investment opportunities online.

The importance of speed

‘The one thing I heard from my clients as an attorney was the importance of speed. Sponsors need to maximise the amount of time they have to raise capital for a project prior to close of escrow. Everyone always wanted to start fundraising yesterday,’ explained founder Amy Wan. ‘At the same time, clients need legal documents even for their smaller deals. The legal fees for small transactions are often too high for small deals. Bootstrap Legal aims to solve a lot of problems my clients have had over the years.’

How it works

Bootstrap Legal users answer a series of questions about their real estate project. Once complete, bespoke legal documents are delivered to the user’s email inbox within 48 hours. Each set of documents is reviewed prior to delivery.

Cuts fees and speeds up the process

This legaltech product both undercuts the legal fees associated with real estate capital raises and expedites the process, according to the creators. ‘Real estate investors typically have limited time to raise capital for their project, and Bootstrap Legal’s new software allows users to control the legal process, so that they can have extra time to raise capital. Users who require additional assistance are connected to a real estate securities attorney to get questions answered,’ said a statement.

Using AI to help SMEs

Ms Wan, a real estate securities lawyer and a prominent voice in the crowdfunding space, aims to democratise access to legal counsel for small businesses, without the associated unpredictable high fees and lack of speed and process. ‘Small businesses make up over 99 per cent of businesses in the US. Yet, the average American has $400 in their checking account, which isn’t enough to even form a legal entity. It’s unrealistic to think these entrepreneurs can afford a $2,000-5,000 retainer to an attorney to get a business formed and off the ground…Bootstrap Legal intends to use AI to give small business entrepreneurs a fighting chance by providing a more user-friendly and affordable access to counsel.’

Personal track record

Prior to founding Bootstrap Legal, Ms Wan was a Partner at Trowbridge Sidoti and general counsel at Patch of Land, a real estate crowdfunding platform. She also helped formulate international trade policy and business and human rights policy as a presidential management fellow in the federal government. She was named one of ten Women to Watch by the American Bar Association, and co-founded Legal Hackers LA, a meetup group that facilitates discussion around the intersection of law and technology.

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