Entrepreneur & Alternative careerists

Nima Heydarian, Founder, Indianlawyers.net, on the need to modernise the legal industry and his passion for technology

Nima Heydarian is a Controls Engineer in the Oil & Gas industry with an electrical engineering bachelor’s degree from Purdue University. He has been developing websites and applications on the side for the past eleven years. In 2010, he started a new business called “Heritage Law Marketing” focused on marketing the services of the attorneys based on their heritage background, international practice areas and languages that they speak. He has been developing an online marketplace through which one can reach out to Indian lawyers worldwide, Indianlawyers.net.

In this interview, we speak to him abut:

  • His project and its importance
  • The challenges faced by him
  • How lawyers will benefit from Indianlawyers.net

 

nima-hHow did you decide to start a project related to the legal industry?

I am Iranian. About seven years ago when I was in college I built the website, IranianLawyers.net, to list Iranian lawyers and help them connect with the Iranian community. I built the website as a hobby and completely free of charge. At the back of my mind, I also believed that this could one day be a serious business because I would be addressing a very real need in the market. Also lawyers of other ethnicities are a demographic largely overlooked by the larger legal marketing firms.

From the beginning my goal was to turn Heritage Law Marketing into a large legal marketing firm so I had to build a solid platform and a set of the tools focused on long term growth. That required time and a decent amount of investment neither of which most senior electrical engineering students have. I graduated college in December 2009 and started the business in March 2010.

 

To anyone who’s never come across ‘Indianlawyers.net’, how would you describe it?

It’s a directory of Indian attorneys around the world. We publish legal articles pertaining to the Indian community. We are working on a ranking system to rank Indian non-corporate law firms in India and elsewhere. We also plan to host various “Indian Legal” events around the world.

 

Could you explain your business model to our readers in layman terms?

Attorneys pay to be included in our directory and we help them connect with clients seeking their services. We also sell legal marketing services such as Adwords, SEO, Web Design, etc.

 

What have been some of the challenges?

The biggest challenge so far has been to stand out among the abundance of the legal directory websites that are out there. We are going to be much more than just a directory and need to do a good job of conveying that message to attorneys who get bombarded by ads from different directories every day.

 

How did you go about creating the technology behind the product?

I did as much of the programming myself to save money but for the more complicated and delicate parts of the script I hired the best programmer I knew from around the web. He wasn’t cheap but the results are obvious in how user friendly, fast loading, and solid the website is.

 

What kind of growth has ‘Indianlawyers.net’ seen since its launch?

I spent the first 3 years mostly building the platform so we didn’t have much growth during that time. Right now I am offering the listings to about 100 select attorneys free of charge to test features of the website, so that I can get feedback, and generate word of mouth advertising. I hope to have 100 attorneys listed with us by end of 2013.

 

Any major learning you would like to share with our readers?

Finding the right people and right team is much harder than it seems.

What kind of lawyers would benefit from joining the portal? Why should they join it?

Individual lawyers and small law firms would benefit the most because the legal clients we send to lawyer are mostly individuals, families and small businesses.

How are you marketing Indianlawyers.net to lawyers?

I am using a host of different methods right now including social media, article marketing, banner advertising, direct mail, print advertising, etc. I am trying to use as many weapons out of the book Guerrilla Marketing Weapons by Jay Conrad Levinson as possible.

 

What message would you like to share with our readers?

The legal industry in India is old and in need of modernization. Let’s work together and make it happen. I am happy to work with anyone else who is looking to leave an impact on the legal industry in India through the use of technology.

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