Supporting Rural Entrepreneurship with Legal Technology
52 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2020 Last revised: 5 Jun 2021
Date Written: August 12, 2020
A major challenge for entrepreneurial new ventures in rural areas is a lack of access to high-quality legal resources. This is especially true when comparing the legal resources available to rural new ventures with the legal resources consumed by new ventures in traditional entrepreneurial ecosystems (like Silicon Valley). One potential solution to this problem lies in emerging technology tools, which have shown promise with respect to making top-notch legal services available to any new venture. These technology tools provide entrepreneurs access to legal solutions like document generators and comprehensive legal platforms. Once accessed, the entrepreneurs can execute these legal solutions on their own, without an attorney’s assistance. Additionally, these technology tools can be paired with limited, strategic use of counsel when the entrepreneur has questions requiring an attorney’s input.
More importantly, opportunities exist to better tailor these technology tools to the needs of entrepreneurs in rural areas. Specifically, key players within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in rural areas (like attorneys, accelerator programs, universities, and economic development organizations) have an opportunity to work together to create legal technology tools tailored to the needs of local new ventures.
This article proposes a legal services delivery system to be implemented within rural entrepreneurial ecosystems that will benefit both new ventures and practicing attorneys. This delivery system relies heavily on legal technology tools to deliver high-quality legal services using automation. This automation allows for law firms to earn revenue without spending precious hours of their time. It also allows for entrepreneurs to take care of legal tasks like entity formation, corporate governance, and raising capital in a cost-effective way that utilizes well-established best practices.
Keywords: legal technology, automation, law and entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, rural ecosystems
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