The Workchop Conversation with Bright Oleka

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the law, tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

This week, we have Bright Oleka, Head of Product at JUDY. Bright is a graduate of statistics from Abia state University but fell in love with tech. He started out as a web developer, and he then tagged along his cousin Vincent Okeke in creating West Africa’s first e-learning platform called doviLearn.com. He is also a lover of great design and is obsessed with client relationship management.

What is the problem you aimed to solve when starting Judy?

My Co-founder is the son of a Justice of the Appeal Court of Ghana. Growing up, he was often tasked with assisting his father in bookmarking cases in law reports, pointing out inaccurate citations, and other paralegal duties. Over the years, he came across various software that were supposed to make his ‘job’ obsolete, but they were all clunky (old-fashioned). After completing his CS degree, he investigated the issue further, only to find that the problem stretched far beyond Ghana. Hence, JUDY was born.

What does your work as a Product Head involve?

As the head of product, I work closely with the tech team in creating some user-centric products we have launched over time like our desktop application, JUDY Lite and our most premium feature: JUDY Plus. I’m also heavily involved with customer relationship management.

How does Judy work in making legal research faster and efficiently to lawyers?

We have obtained, digitized, and uploaded over 70,000 cases from the Supreme and Appeal Courts of Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya to our database. After digitization, the cases required additional formatting and grammatical corrections. Therefore, we built an internal Editorial Dashboard where our team of lawyers edit, format, and annotate principles established in a  case. 

This enables us to present cases to users in a properly formatted, navigable structure. We then use our lawyers’ annotations as labeled training data (about 10,000 data points so far) to subsequently develop insights for end-users, such as finding cases with similar principles, or similar issues. Each data point (of the training data)  generally consists of a specific legal principle and the corresponding passage where that principle is applicable. With sufficient training, our model is able to identify all relevant legal principles in a given case judgment.

Search results are further prioritized by how frequently a case has been referenced, therefore, landmark cases rank higher.

With a well-trained AI, we will scalably derive insights from cases and forgo a large editorial team. We have also developed a method to fine tune our algorithm to generate case summaries.

What apps, gadgets or tools have you been relying on to work and how do you use them?

Due to the pandemic, I work remotely and the tools below are what I use to effectively carry out a lot of my day-to-day tasks.

  1. Google Meet & Zoom for communication
  2. Slack  & Airtable for Project management
  3. Intercom for client complaint resolution and feedback
  4. Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Premier Pro for designs & video editing

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I’m not reading any book at the moment but my daily addictions are on podcasts & YouTube. I listen to a lot of content from “The Business of Design” Podcast and also Alex Harris material’s because of his knowledge on Product growth, user engagement & design.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

I would recommend Charles Thompson, Chief Technical Officer, JUDY.

The Workchop Conversations with Jesutooni Ajiboye

The Workchop Conversations is an ongoing series of conversations with different players in both the legal tech & justice tech space, sharing about their work and innovative role within the space, promoting access to justice in Africa.

This week, we have Jesutooni Ajiboye, a Lawyer and a freelance writer, working an in-House role with one of the pioneer financial institutions in Lagos, Nigeria. He also works in a product marketing role with a Fintech startup, SwipeNG, based out of Lagos and operating in Nigeria. Jesutooni believes that its been fun ever since he found out that working in tech always offers you the opportunity to criss-cross industries and even job roles, sometimes. 

How is a typical day like at SwipeNG?

So, SwipeNG is a startup which seeks to provide interest-free credit to users across Nigeria through credit cards. A product marketing role basically entails selling the main products of the company to users through stories, graphics, blogposts and other means of marketing. This also entails managing the social media outlook of the fintech firm as well as working with other deoartments in bringing great customer experience for users. For me, it’s been an exciting role as I enjoy talking about impactful financial products and I’m confident what we have started at SwipeNG will reshape the microlending sector, in the long run. 

What apps, gadgets or tools do you use for work and how do you use them?

There are quite a number of software and hardware solutions which I use that positively impact my work. I’d say one of the most impactful software solutions for remote work, which has fully been in place since I started working with SwipeNG, is Slack. I admire how Slack has reshaped working with different departments and it is just like having your physical office on your phone or laptop. Of course there are concerns about how this affects one’s work-life balance but that has not really been a problem for me, working at SwipeNG. Regarding other tools which I use, some affect my work directly such as Copy.ai (a friend actually introduced me to this tool) and it is great for all copywriters out there. Another tool which I regularly use is Notion which helps me structure my to-dos and deliverables. The wonder with Notion is that it helps you add various types of files so it really is the perfect Virtual Assistant for a freelancer. 

What are you currently reading, watching listening to?

What am I reading? Currently, not reading a book. Confession, I buy more books than I read most times. However, I do podcasts more and I would readily recommend Business Wars by Wondery, The Intelligence by Economist and Fintech Insider Podcast by 11 FS. These are just some of the podcasts I listen to for fun and education. What am I watching? The Office (US), a comedy series about workplace drama and life.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

Ohotu Ogbeche, Ademola Adeyoju, Ademola Adekunbi and Mallick Bolakale readily come to mind as people who work in Law and Tech. You may also want to speak with the Co-Founder of SwipeNG, Temidayo Dauda, who is also a Lawyer.