They want to make it easier for the average South African to quickly get legal help when they need it

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Keitumetsi Pule is one half of the brains behind the Legal Standpoint App.
Keitumetsi Pule is one half of the brains behind the Legal Standpoint App.

They have never met, but from opposite ends of the country, two legal eagles have put their heads together to get the law and legal services more accessible to average South Africans.

Joburg based Keitumetse Pule (23) and Cape Town based Phemelo Matie (20) have developed the Legal Standpoint to fill a gap that is concerning to both of them.

Keitumetse tells Drum that the app is a learning platform that is meant to take away the complexity of law.

“The law is inaccessible for a lot of South Africans because of the jargon, it is mostly in English and the high prices.

“We understand that it can be overwhelming and intimidating for a lot of people and that is what we want to change. The app is easy to navigate, and we want users to walk away feeling as if they had been taking to a friend who explained legal concepts to them,” she says.

The app is also gamified, Keitumetse says. Users can quiz themselves at the end to check in they understand whatever topic they were checking out.

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The app has three basic functions:

  • Legal advice;
  • Document review and
  • Consultation option
phemelo
Phemelo Matie is the cofounder of the Legal Standpoint App.

“Users have the option of requesting consultations with lawyers and can set appointments at their own convenience and make the payment of the app, all in the comfort of their home.

“The lawyers set their own rates,” she explains. “Credibility is a big deal to us and as such, we vet the lawyers that want to join to make sure they are admitted attorneys in good standing. We do not allow the lawyers to join until we are sure that they are legit and they are the right fit.”

“We are an intermediary between lawyers and clients.”

The app, which currently has more than 190 articles on different topics has different categories users can choose from. This is to help them narrow their searches down. The categories include banking, family law and business.

Keitumetsi says there are times people find themselves in legal confusing situations and their rights are violated but they do not know what routes to take.

“That is where we come in. It shouldn’t matter whether you are in Soweto or Sandton in order for you to get the legal information that you need. The reality is that whether we know it or not, the law governs all our lives and how we live. And that means we should all have access to the law.”

You do no necessarily have to be tech savvy in order for you to find your way around the app, Keitumetsi says.

“We really worked hard on this because we wanted to make sure that the user interface is easy to navigate.”

The app was not initially for law students, but Keitumetse says many students have come forward to them to say it has helped them with memorizing some concepts.

There are 196 articles on the app which are available in English, IsiXhosa and SePedi.

“The language barrier is a big problem we would like to solve. Currently we only have those three languages but we are working on getting more in the not too distant future."

The rely on translating programmes, but there are actual people who speak the three languages and they are the ones that do that final checks to ensure accuracy.

“This has been months in the making and both Keitumetse and I are excited to finally launch the Legal Standpoint App. This is our first step towards making the law accessible to ordinary South Africans and to becoming the leading legal education and services platform in the country,” Phemelo says.

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The pair have never met. They met virtually at a Demo Day organised by Allan Gray Orbis Foundation where they were both Candidate Fellows.

Keitumetsi has since graduated into the association.

“We'll be meeting for the first time in person at the annual Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Jamboree in Johannesburg,” Keitumetsi says laughing.

The app is available on the Apple Store, Play Store and the Huawei App Gallery.

“I never really been the geeky type that is into coding but I’ve always been aware and acknowledged the power and importance of technology.”

The app was launched on 23 September and Keitumetse says they are well on their way to have 1000 users by the end of the week.

“The reception has much better than we could have expected. It's mindblowing.”

Towards the end of 2021, Keitumetse was the overall winner at Nedbank’s YouthX competition as the Changemaker of the Year, after winning the tech and innovation category with their app as nothing but a concept.

They used the winnings to fund the building of the app.

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