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Bridge between law and technology

Victor Mwago had practiced law for almost three years at Anjarwalla and Khanna Advocates, one of East Africa’s largest law firms, when he decided to quit and venture into the tech world. His passion for programming and technology proved to be too strong to resist.

He had previously developed a number of applications with his friends. The outstanding app he has developed is for use by lawyers. While at the law firm, Mwago was fascinated by the automation process at the firm, which made work easier for lawyers, and as the interest grew, he realised that most law firms rely on the analogue methods of profiling and carrying out legal work.

From this fascination, he began working on his law firm management software, Sheriasoft under his legal-tech company SheriaSoft Technologies Limited. His aim was to bridge the digital divide between lawyers and their practice.

In 2014, he started coding and looking for intellectual property, but he had to quit his white-collar job in July this year as SheriaSoft needed his undivided attention. Sheriasoft is a cloud-based software that caters for small and medium-sized law firms. It is also one of the best legal softwares in Kenya alongside WakiliCMS and E-Wakili.

This software focuses on the basic features of management from custom client intake form, client communication, internal chat and pricing. “We chose not to over-engineer and create a downloaded App.

Instead, we took a mobile-first approach and designed our product to be cloud-based and mobile responsive, which provides you access to the full suite of SheriaSoft features from any device with internet access,” said Mwago.

According to Mwago, one of the reasons many lawyers recommend Sheriasoft is the pricing element. Many legal software companies offer tiered pricing system based on the amount of features one wants such as billing, accounting, email and other third party integration will only be included in the premium version.

Sheriasoft instead gives access to every feature for Sh1,250 per user for law firms and Sh2,000 per user for legal departments and has further been integrated with Pesapal where users can pay a subscription three, six or 12 months in advance. The subscription allows users to access the system via the web.

Sheriasoft made it a priority to focus more on computer and mobile responsiveness. He acknowledges that lawyers are more into reading than exploring the technological field, citing that the software is made as simple as possible for fast use and time management. Mwago’s aim is to see a paperless law practice in Kenya.

The software’s only weakness, however, is that its jungle green colour and icons are not adjustable. There is also no SMS feature for reminders, no integration of apps such as email and drop box as most clients would prefer, but Mwago says that it is still work in progress and that the features will be installed in the system.

Further, the programme’s dashboard highlights upcoming tasks and schedule for the week or whatever time period is set by the client and allows one to receive an email that outlines schedules for the day.

“Sheriasoft is a simple system and still pretty new, but it stacks up well to its competitors.The programme has, however, risen to prominence over older, more established practice management software,” said the 28-year-old man.

Unlike traditional law firms, which have no accountability, SheriaSoft allows for the searching of a firm’s database apart from automating lawyers’ practices.

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