What We Do
We accelerate the next generation of startups that will change the way legal services are delivered
We are building a community
We are looking for hard-working, creative entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the way legal services are delivered within the justice system, law firms, and the government.
We connect you with valuable partners and mentors
Our program involves 1-hour weekly virtual conferences with leading legal technology entrepreneurs, innovative law firms, industry consultants, court administrators, CTOs, angel investors and VCs committed to investing in early-stage tech products. We bring in thought-leaders from the legal profession and coaching experts to hone your pitch and enrich your understanding of the legal services ecosystem.
We are here to support your growth
Our mission is to strategically tailor resources to help your startup thrive, from access to highly intelligent interns through Duke University and leaders in legal tech fields, to showcasing your product at the Duke Law Tech Lab Demo Day.
The Duke Law Tech Lab (DLTL) is a program of the Duke Center on Law & Tech at Duke University School of Law.
Our mission is to help your startup thrive by building community among legal tech entrepreneurs and providing access to high-quality content needed by many early stage founders and teams who may be leading their first entrepreneurial venture.
By the Numbers
We've worked with 26 companies over 3 cohorts since the Duke Law Tech Lab started.
After the Duke Law Tech Lab, six companies have been accepted into the
LexisNexis Legal Tech Accelerator.
We've distributed over $25,000 total in prize money to the top companies since we began. We don't take equity in any of the companies in our program.
We gave away $6,500 in grant money to the companies in our 2019 cohort with a mission to increase access to legal services.
Our extensive network of Duke Law faculty, alumni, current law students, staff and other legal tech leaders review applications to the Duke Law Tech Lab.
We are grateful to the many legal tech leaders, entrepreneurs, practicing attorneys, marketing experts, pitch coaches, angel investors, and other experts who provide content for our program. In 2019, over 50 individuals provided unique content to the companies in the cohort.
Who We Are
We're an entrepreneurial team with experience in startups, law firms, investing, and academia
DLTL is coordinated by faculty, staff, and students at Duke Law under the Duke Center on Law and Technology,
led by Director Jeff Ward. We are supported by an advisory board (below) of legal tech leaders who help us strategize and provide feedback.
We recruit our judges from Duke Law's network of legal tech leaders invested in supporting innovation in legal service delivery.
Presenters & Mentors
We connect our teams with experts, law firms, justice system stakeholders, student interns, angel investors, venture capitalists, innovators, influencers, and others from Duke University's extensive network.
Duke Law Tech Lab was launched in 2017
by Duke Law students, alumni, and faculty, and led by the efforts of Duke Law alum Bill Warren.
Latham & Watkins
Elizabeth Stone Gerding
2017 Duke Law Tech Lab
Why work with us?
We continue to evolve the Duke Law Tech Lab to help address the most pressing challenges facing early stage legal tech companies:
The majority of our Founders are lawyers, not serial entrepreneurs, MBAs, or technologists, who have seen a gap or need in the legal profession and are developing a solution.
The market for legal tech products, both BTB and BTC, is unique and continually evolving as more individuals, governments, and companies embrace the use of technology in the legal and civic sectors.
While many startup founders in all industries feel it is a lonely road, legal tech entrepreneurs are in particular need of support from other legal tech leaders.
The DLTL provides a platform for our teams to engage with legal tech leaders, law firms, justice system stakeholders, student interns, angel investors, venture capitalists, innovators, influencers, and others from Duke University's extensive network.
When does your next application open?
We anticipate accepting applications in Spring 2020 for a June through September 2020 program.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the Contact Us form below to let us know you'd like to be notified about future program offerings. Follow the Duke Center on Law & Tech on Twitter or LinkedIn for the latest updates!
What is required on the application?
We don't want the application process to be burdensome, as we consider this program "light-touch." Generally, our application requires the following minimum information:
Are there deliverables or milestone requirements?
The Duke Law Tech Lab is intentionally a “light-touch” pre-accelerator. As such, we do not ask anything burdensome of participating teams. We will, however, ask teams to work on tasks that bolster company growth and prepare to present at Demo Day at the end of the program. Because the Duke Law Tech Lab also aims at early-stage teams with highly individualized needs, these specific tasks are likely to depend on the particular needs of your company in light of advice from your team mentors.
Does the DLTL require an equity stake in the companies who participate?
No. As a light-touch accelerator, we do not require any future equity in your company.
Do you accept companies outside the US?
In order to provide the best support to our participants possible, we only accept US-based companies for our Duke Law Tech Lab program.
If your company is based outside of the United States, we would still love to connect with you! We hosted our second virtual International Legal Tech Summit in fall 2019. If you want to stay in touch about future opportunities for international companies, please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you.
What is Demo Day?
Demo Day is an exciting opportunity to showcase new and innovative legal tech products in front of other #legaltech leaders. It is a celebration event involving other entrepreneurs, technologists, lawyers of all stripes, big law firm management, investor networks, and many more.
What is the Duke Law Tech Lab's impact?
By harnessing our entrepreneurial ecosystem in legal tech, we help founders learn from each other, legal tech leaders, subject-matter experts, and key industry players.
Past teams from our first two cohorts have seen success such as:
What have previous participants said about Duke Law Tech Lab?
"Every early-stage legaltech startup deserves a Duke Law Tech Lab experience. Our win is a result of everything the program poured into us." - Sonja Ebron of Courtroom5 (2019)
"We are so grateful for the Duke Law Tech Lab for putting together an informative and engaging 13-week program that introduced us to industry leaders who have experience building successful legal tech companies." - Yousef Kassim of Easy Expunctions (2019)
"Participating in the Duke Law Tech Lab was a boost for our new company, and it came at the perfect time. We learned a lot about how to grow and improve our services, and made many good connections. Above all though, the program provided us with invaluable validation and legitimacy. Thanks DTLT!" - Brandt McMillan of Smart Lien, LLC (2018)
"Having the opportunity to meaningfully connect with likeminded individuals and teams doing innovative work in the legal space was one of my favorite aspects of the accelerator. The weekly informative but casual meetings kept me focused on business strategy, growth, marketing and overall presentation of myself and our company. ... What has surprised me the most is how willing the speakers and advisors are to connect and mentor. I expected maybe a 20-30 minute chat with key players in the industry and instead, I’ve been able to grow my advisory board and start executing on expansion plans." - Erin Levine, Hello Divorce (2018)
"Skopos Labs was at a critical early stage of development and the content and delivery DLTL provided was on target and of immense value… All of us at Skopos Labs are grateful for the chance to work with DLTL and we'd recommend any legal tech startup apply!" (2017)
"The Duke Law Tech Lab did more that just help our [vTestify's] business, it helped to develop and nurture our team. Meeting with industry leaders, discussing sales/marketing strategies, and building on our skill sets helped to enrich not only our company but also every member of our group. These are skills that will be invaluable long after the intensive work of nurturing a startup fades." (2017)
"We took great pride in being selected as one of the participants in the Duke Law Tech Lab (‘DLTL’). Duke has an unbelievable reputation, and this experience was a jolt of energy and confidence that has helped us double down our efforts in making TrustBooks successful." (2017)