Making the pitch

Alec Hankins and Bryan McClure are the co-founders of Lawger, an online marketplace for affordable legal services. They are preparing for the SmartUps Pitch Event on September 30th, which will feature the companies in the RAIN Eugene Accelerator program.

Stephanie Imah (SI): How is Lawger preparing for the Pitch Event on September 30th?

Alec Hankins (AH): Well it’s a process. There’s a formula you want to hit and it takes some thought to get the formula right. You have to know who you are talking to and adjust your pitch to ensure the essence of your story gets across to your listeners in a memorable way. For Lawger, we need to emotionally connect to our audience and let them sort of imagine what disrupting the legal market could mean for people in real life. The better we can do that, the better our pitch will be I think.

SI: So in the pitch itself, what do you think are the key points Lawger would need to get across?

Bryan McClure (BC): Accessibility. We need to communicate that Lawger can not only provide accessible legal help for its users but also that Lawger has the unique ability to level the playing field between those wealthy enough to afford good legal services and those who are not. Lawger provides a financially advantageous solution to old ways of finding good legal help.

SI: What does your company hope to gain from an event like this?

BC: Validation and exposure. Through this pitch event we hope that we can receive acceptance of our idea from the community. Our biggest point of success would be in letting people know that there is a cheaper and more efficient way to get legal help. We are partly testing a prototype and looking for feedback and traction to see if we are going in the right direction.

AH: I think it’s also this hope of validating our assumptions to a certain degree—finding out whether people think Lawger is a tangible solution to a big problem, or even just something mildly interesting. We are really hoping to gain some form of measurable feedback from the event.

SI: The RAIN Accelerator Program is coming to an end, how important is a pitch event like this for the future of your company?

AH: Huge. It’s similar to defending your thesis or something. It is the culmination of all the work we’ve done over the past 11 weeks and now we are exposing the inner workings of our company and letting people take a look under the hood. It’s nerve-racking, but we think people are going to be excited by it.

BC: It would be incredibly difficult to do this on your own. Having an organization of professionals look at and validate your ideas instills trust in those looking to join or invest in your company. What we have done over these past weeks will help propel our company to be self-sustained by graduation time. RAIN has really helped to springboard the companies here into the marketplace.

SI: What are your post graduation plans?

BC: We hope to use our placement in Eugene as an initial measurement tool. Eugene is a small community, but it’s large enough to determine if we could find a space in the market. Using feedback from the community will help us to determine how we can scale our company in the future.

Lawger hopes that their new approach to finding legal services will help the economy and community by providing jobs for lawyers in the city of Eugene. By taking advantage of opportunities such as the Pitch Event on September 30th, Lawger co-founders Alec Hankins ( and Bryan McClure ( hope that they will be able to gain more exposure for their company. Contact them to learn more about their vision.

-By Stephanie Imah