Hi Makers, I'm Robin, AMA about legal tech, automation, fundraising and more.

Richard Robinson
6 replies
Hi Everyone – Richard Robinson here. I’m the CEO and Founder of Robin AI. Robin is a venture backed legal tech company that use machine learning to automate low complexity legal work. Before I started Robin I was a corporate lawyer; first at Clifford Chance, then at Boies Schiller. I essentially spent 6 years working for some of the biggest companies in the world on their most pressing legal issues. When I’m not working, I also ran a sneaker hedge fund (I invested in sneakers like VCs invest in start-ups) and coached the England debate team. If I’m not doing those things, I’m watching Aston Villa or the Dallas Cowboys. Here to answer any questions you might have about start-ups, fundraising terms, applied AI, NLP, legal issues, transitioning from corporate to start-ups, Air Jordans, or whatever. Come at me!


Tell me more about the sneaker hedge fund - which pair gave you the best returns? Also what's your background in NLP? Would you recommend folks get the training? What's the best advantage of it? I feel like I'm pretty persuasive but guess I could always learn more.
Richard Robinson
@abadesi Sneaker Fund: I was a little bit like a hedge fund manager: People (OK, friends!) would invest cash, I would use the money to buy assets (sneakers) in the expectation that the assets would appreciate over the life-time of the fund (1 year). New sneakers, in the right circumstances, can be a pretty rare commodity, so if you can get your hands on them, you can make good money. My investors ended up making a pretty good return (one guy used the funds as a house deposit!). The best return we made that year was on a pair of Nike Air Yeezys that someone was desperate to sell. I think we made 40% in three months! 💵💵💵. NLP: I didn't have any! When I realised I wanted to start a legal tech company, and I started talking to customers about their problems, I quickly realised that reading and understanding contracts was causing lawyers a lot of grief. I began by reading as many academic papers as I could find about machine learning, and that led me to natural language processing - and while my linear algebra is still quite 'rusty' I knew enough to know what skills I needed on my team.
Yannik Schrade
I am currently in my third semester (out of 12) in studying law in Germany and participated in three legal tech hackathons last year. So for personal interest my question is: how did YOU start with legal tech?
Richard Robinson
@yanniks I was a lawyer for 6 years at Clifford Chance and Boies Schiller Flexner. But my journey into legal tech began when I was sent to work for one of the firm's clients for 6 months. While I was there, I realised that while a lot of what lawyers do is deeply contextual (and complex), much of it isn't - especially when you're a lawyer within a company. My ambition was to use technology to automate low-complexity legal work, but I didn't really have a more developed idea than that. Before quitting my job, I wanted to build a prototpye to test two hypothesis: (1) Would people use a technology to get legal advice that they would ordinarily get from a person?, and (2) Could you fully automate a task that a human lawyer currently does? I spoke to Joshua Browder the Founder and CEO of DoNotPay, a robolawyer startup in the US and he gave me the inspiration to start my own similar thing to test my hypothesis. I made a chatbot that helped tenants get their rent deposit back from their landlord (which in the UK is still a major issue), and thankfully it worked. People used it and managed to save thousands of pounds using the application. So I knew I was on to something. Now I'm focused on using similar technologies to automate the work lawyers do in a business context.
Wilson Bright
Can you share your thoughts on privacy laws and its adherence by products and services. Could this be automated?
Monte Lai
how effective is the ai in processing a legal complaint and creating the necessary paperwork?