As the world becomes increasingly digital, the legal landscape is also seeing massive shifts with more and more evidence and key information shifting to online platforms.
In the digital era, savvy criminals have found a way to make use of emerging data sources – from chat apps to cloud-based platforms hosted in other countries. In fact, money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, gambling and all forms of cybercrime have found a home in the digital realm, posing threats to our digital economy.
This further makes accessing, collecting and formatting evidence a formidable task, which demands unique expertise and training.
The need for legal education technology in Bangladesh became clear to one former Google lawyer pursuing her MBA at International Technological University, Santa Clara.
"To ensure access to justice, a fusion of law and technology became essential. This is where the idea for my Edtech platform was born," said Barrister Tasnuva Shelley, who turned her vision into reality by founding Legalized, the first and only legal ed-tech in Bangladesh.
The platform was conceived to empower aspiring lawyers, local businesses and existing legal professionals by enhancing their awareness, education, corporate governance and relevant professional skills.
It provides necessary legal and compliance knowledge and learning for law graduates, local businesses and legal professionals.
Barrister Tasnuva Shelley says she aims to leverage cutting-edge technology to uplift the one sector in Bangladesh that lags the most when it comes to digitalisation and is resistant to change.
"The goal is to cultivate a new generation of digitally proficient law students, professionals and corporations by providing quality legal education and training. This will not only elevate the standard of legal service but also ensure access to justice for the common citizens of the country," explained Barrister Tasnuva.
The good barrister, who comes from an entrepreneurial family and has worked for brands like Grameenphone Ltd, Novo Nordisk, Google and Global Antitrust Institute, has an MBA.
Barrister Tasnuva also earned an LLM in Law and Economics and believes her experience, education and family background put her in a position of unique expertise to tackle all demands that come with running a legal ed-tech startup.
In fact, her master's thesis, titled 'Legal Edtech for Bangladesh,' pushed her to create a comprehensive business plan that covered market research, financial planning and marketing strategies. "My legal background enabled me to structure the company's legal documents meticulously," she added.
The Legalised Education platform offers an extensive selection of resources, such as audio lectures, black letter law outline notes, MCQ tests, flashcards, 1-on-1 tutoring and more. This comprehensive collection of materials makes it a user-friendly and all-in-one resource for legal education and bar exam preparation.
At the moment, Legalized offers over 25 specialised courses, complete syllabus and exam materials for both the BAR Council and High Court examinations.
Legalized also provides customised compliance training solutions to local businesses, which not only improve their corporate governance but also help them save valuable time and resources.
The Legalized team is hopeful that the tailored compliance training solutions they offer can assist businesses in enhancing their brand value, image and sustainability. Employees have the convenience of completing training on their smartphones or laptops, which helps reduce logistical challenges.
"Ethical business practices and compliance will be ingrained among employees, reducing turnover and fostering a happier workforce. This, in turn, will attract more foreign partnerships, ultimately boosting the foreign reserve of Bangladesh. The platform will revolutionise corporate compliance in the country and promote ethical business practices," said Barrister Tasnuva.
So, what makes Legalized special in the eyes of legal professionals? Legalized provides a variety of digital courses and webinars designed to equip legal professionals with the latest knowledge and skills in areas such as technology, economics, blockchain, privacy laws and more.
By collaborating with educational partners from around the world, Legalized Education offers local legal professionals the opportunity to access specialised courses on current and popular legal topics. Taking these courses will enable individuals to enhance their skills and remain at the forefront of their legal practice.
"We aim to raise awareness about the use of digital signatures and promote their secure and authentic use. This will enable the execution of smart contracts and other legal documents efficiently and transparently," added Barrister Tasnuva.
As of the time of writing, the Legalized Learning App faces no direct competition. It is the first and only legal platform in Bangladesh that offers both English and Bengali language options on laptops and smartphones.
Legalized offers users personalised study plans and real-time legal updates. Users will receive certifications from reputable sources for each course they complete and track their progress through a personalised dashboard.
The app, which was launched on the Play Store this October, already has a user base of more than 500. In their short journey, Legalized Education has also had the honour of being recognised as one of the top three finalists for the 'Outstanding Legaltech Entrant Award' at the Tech Law Fest 2023 held in Singapore. Legalized Education has also recently won the Legal Tech Pitch Night hosted by the LawTech Hub by Lander & Rogers, AirTree, ALTA - Australian Legal Technology Association and Syncly, in Melbourne.
So, what is this pioneering female entrepreneur's vision for the future? "I am a believer in change. A change driven by technology and innovation. Upholding the rule of law, reducing legal costs, making access to justice available to everyone, anytime, at their fingertips is my vision for 2041 as a woman leader in the legal tech space," she said.