#StartupsEverywhere – Helping People Navigate the Civil Court System

Excerpt from Engine:

#StartupsEverywhere profile: Sonja Ebron, Co-Founder and CEO, Courtroom5

Courtroom5 is a Durham-based startup that provides automated legal support to people representing themselves in civil court. We recently spoke with the Co-Founder and CEO, Sonja Ebron, to learn more about her background, the company’s use of artificial intelligence, and what policymakers can do to address funding disparities.

What in your background made you interested in launching Courtroom5?

Sonja Ebron: Debra Slone, my Co-Founder, and I fell into this work as a result of our life experiences. We’re both former college professors. We didn’t have the means to hire lawyers with huge hourly rates. So when we were sued, we represented ourselves. Everyone has a right to do that, but if your opponent is a corporation represented by a lawyer, there is a terrible mismatch.

Get a Fair Hearing in Court

No one expects a fair outcome when one side has a lawyer but the other side doesn’t. Level the playing field with Courtroom5.

In a civil case, there are hundreds of decisions to make and tasks to perform. If you don’t know what to do and when to do it, you’re screwed. That’s what happened to us at first. Eventually, we understood the system well enough to stand up to a lawyer. But we both have PhDs. You shouldn’t need a PhD to represent yourself in court.

— Edward Graham, Engine

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