The Workchop Conversation with Soriah Kaingu, Director at Apptorney, Tanzania

The Workchop Conversation with Soriah Kaingu, Director at Apptorney, Tanzania

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.

For this week, we have Soriah Kaingu, the director at Apptorney, a platform that provides legal content that is properly linked, categorized, and indexed for more efficient and user friendly share with us one problem in the legal space that she will like to solve and the impactful things she is doing at Apptorney.

 Tell us briefly how you started and what you do at Apptorney.

Apptorney started as a dream when I was in university. My brother, Muchu Kaingu who was studying Software Engineering always wondered if there was nothing that could be done to help me with my legal research. That was the birth of the idea of Apptorney. Almost 5 years later, my brother and I partnered with 2 other friends to make Apptorney a reality. Apptorney is a partnership of software developers and lawyers. At inception, I not only provided legal support to the project but also gave the ‘end-user voice in the development of the platform.

How is a typical day like for you at Apptorney? What does your job entail?

My job entails a lot of liaison duties between Apptorney and its partners, from the administrative point of view as opposed to business/sales/marketing.

 How do you recharge or take a break?

I love to dance. I very rarely miss a Zoca (a fusion of Zambian and soca dance) session. I play squash regularly and never miss my family’s Sunday braais.

What tasks do you dislike but still do?

As we are still a start-up, all hands are on deck with the marketing of the platform to the public. I am not a salesperson and this is a role that I would ordinarily dislike. However, with Apptorney this task is made easier as it really boils down to talking to people about something I am passionate about and which I believe is a much need tool for anyone in the legal space.

What is that one problem in the legal space that you will want to solve?

Apptorney solves the problem of inefficiency in legal research. The Zambian legal information is scattered across several sources which make research tedious and time-consuming. Apptorney has consolidated Zambian law on to one platform, which is not only easy to use, but is also mobile thus very accessible. The aim of Apptorney is to help everyone have the law at their fingertips.

 What do you spend time doing, besides work?

I love to read and experiment with food 😊

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I am reading Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho and watching Judas and the Black Messiah

In your years of work experience, what is the best advice that you have received?

The big picture is made up of tiny pixels. (woooooooooooord!!!)

 Who would you like to answer these questions?

Muchu Kaingu

The Workchop Conversation with Neema Magarimba, co-founder of Sheria Kiganjani, Tanzania

The Workchop Conversation with Neema Magarimba, co-founder of Sheria Kiganjani, Tanzania

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.

For this week, we have Neema Magimba, the Managing Partner of Extent Corporate Advisory law firm, and co-founder of Sheria Kiganjani, a platform that provides readily accessible and affordable legal services share with us the best piece of advise she has received and the impactful things she is doing at Sheria Kiganjani.

Tell us about yourself and what you do at Sheria Kiganjani.

My name is Neema Magimba, I am an Advocate admitted to practice law in  Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. I currently manage a corporate and intellectual  property law firm and I am also a co-founder and head of legal for Sheria  Kiganjani.  

Sheria Kiganjani (a Swahili word that translates to Law on Your Palm) is a  platform that provides easily accessible and affordable legal services through  mobile phones. The platform is available through smart phones, featured phones  and as a web platform (a website). Through Sheria Kiganjani, we provide  services such as 24/7 access to lawyers through calls and texts, templates of  different legal documents such as draft contracts or agreements, we link our  users to lawyers closest to them to save their money and time and we also  provide legal education in the most simplest and easily understandable way. The  whole platform is in Swahili language which is spoken by 80% of Tanzanians. We  have over 30k users and have resolved over 600 cases since the launch of the  platform is 2018.  

What’s the most impactful thing you believe you do at Sheria Kiganjani?  

Being able to bridge the justice gap in Tanzania. As of 2017, over 2Million  Tanzanians could not access justice due to financial and geographical  constraints. Being able to provide easily accessible and affordable legal services  to over 30,000 Tanzanians, enabling them to solve their cases or prevent legal  mishaps from happening is what we consider the most impactful thing we do at  sheria Kiganjani.  

How do you keep track of what you have to do?  

Personally, I am very conscious with how I use my time, I keep a to-do list to  keep track of everything I have to do for the day and how I distribute my time to  do it all. My google calendar keeps my time table on track as well, with reminders  to help me remember everything I have to do. As a team at Sheria Kiganjani, we  have a common team calendar that has tasks designated to every team member, 

We also have weekly meets ups at the beginning and end of the week which  helps align and be on track with what we have to do as a team.  

 What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

You become what you do with your time.  

How do you recharge or take a break? What do you spend time doing, besides work?  

I’m big on self-love, when I’m not working I enjoy visits to the spa, solo dates and reading (fiction), I also enjoy spending time with my friends doing the things we love the most.  

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?  

Currently reading “Purple hibiscus” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, watching  Tribes of Europa (a show on Netflix) and I’m always listening to something on  Spotify depending on my mood haha.  

The Workchop Conversation with Sunday Fadipe, In-house Counsel & Fintech Lawyer

The Workchop Conversation with Sunday Fadipe, In-house Counsel & Fintech Lawyer

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.

For this week, we have Sunday Fadipe, Lawyer, Writer & Public speaker share with us what his typical day is like as an in-house lawyer in a fintech company and his favorite hack for staying productive.

Okay, tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a lawyer. I work in a financial technology company. Apart from lawyering, I write on diverse subjects and I like to read non-law books. (whispering) My pen is now dusty though. Surprisingly, I never thought I could work in-house. I thought I was too restless to do in-house and it would be boring.

Well, it is far from boring and financial technology has been a long term interest for me. And I don’t think I was born for that litigation stress. Have you ever had to file a process in Federal High Court in Lagos? Lool. I work with amazing people. That makes it really enjoyable. I also get involved in a lot of high-level transactions and conversations. That cannot be boring

What’s a typical day at work like for you?

On days that I am working remotely, wake up like 9am (please don’t tell my boss). I most times work really late into the night and I am generally not an early sleeper. I wake up to work most times as well. Wake up, say my prayers, take  a few steps to my workspace and fire down. I may not even eat until 1pm, 2pm or later. I have a bad eating habit. I take a few breaks in between, maybe some meetings in between as well and a lot of work calls.

For days that I have to work from the office, I wake up by 6am or 7am. and leave for work by 8am. Work resumes 9am. I work on transaction documents depending on my tasks sheet. Send several emails. Join or host meetings where necessary. Take break to have lunch, throw bants with some of my colleagues, and probably make calls too.

What is that one app that you think should be developed that will make your work easier but you’re surprised it isn’t in existence yet?

I think I have shared this with you before. I was thinking about an idea to make review of documents easier and voila! I found the feature on MS Word. But I’m still trying to refine the idea and maybe we’ll build it as an internal product in my company.

What apps, gadgets or tools can’t you do without?

Currently, my phone, WhatsApp, Cliq, Zoho, Twitter, Google Doc, Adobe Fill & Sign, and my dictionary app.

What is your favorite hack for staying productive?

Taking a lot of short breaks in between my work. 

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I am currently reading ‘Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built’ by Duncan Clark and ‘How Successful People Lead’ by John Maxwell. I just finished ‘Stillness is the Key’ by Ryan Holiday. That’s one of my best reads so far. I am not currently listening to or watching anything long term.

Who would you like to answer these questions?

Enyioma Madubuike, my oga

The Workchop Conversation with Themba Mahleka, Co-head at HiiL Southern Africa

The Workchop Conversation with Themba Mahleka, Co-head at HiiL Southern Africa

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 Themba Mahleka, co-head at HiiL Innovation Hub Southern Africa. He is responsible for identifying and supporting legal start-ups whose innovative and/ or technological solutions help improve access to justice. Themba is an attorney by profession and simply passionate about legal tech and innovation. He does not believe that, as attorneys, “the robots are coming to take our jobs”. Instead, legal practice and the delivery of legal services are evolving and in doing so, becoming more accessible. He says that working with HiiL presents a unique opportunity to not only work in legal innovation but to do so for the benefit of those members of society who need access to justice the most.

What is that one idea that shaped how you perceived access to justice through tech?

There are many ideas that have informed my perception, one that stands out is the use of technology as a catalyst for existing solutions. An example of this is Online Dispute Resolution which takes the principles of mediation or arbitration and leverages technology to break down certain geographical or logistical barriers. It has been great to see this in action during the pandemic. 

How do you allocate time for work and other things? How do you deal with distractions?

The truth is I am still figuring this out! I have improved over the years though and being in the moment has helped. Setting goals and focusing on bite-size tasks one at a time, for me, has been more progressive than juggling multiple tasks and not having achieved much at the end of the day. Discipline is key here and that includes the discipline to unplug and recharge your mind and body.

How do you recharge or take a break?

Family. I find taking a walk with my wife and son, going to the dog park, and having dinner at the table (away from technology) as great ways to unwind at the end of the day. I took up boxing at the beginning of the year and this has quickly become one of my favorite things to do.

What is that one advantage of the Innovating Justice Challenge 2021 that you believe justice entrepreneurs must not miss?

HiiL has developed an amazing program with many benefits to offer. One such example is the community. We have found, particularly in Southern Africa, that many justice entrepreneurs feel that the space is so small that they are on the journey alone. Meeting other justice entrepreneurs and being able to tap into HiiL’s global network has resulted in some meaningful and lasting collaborations.

What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?

I am currently reading, “The Corruption Cure: How Citizens & Leaders Can Combat Graft” by Robert I. Rotberg, watching, “Last Chance U: Basketball” and listening to, “Bob Marley: Chant Down Babylon” 

Who would you like to answer these questions?

I’d be interested in hearing from Jackie Nagtegaal.

The Workchop Conversation with Keyukemi Ubi, Co-founder at DigiLaw

The Workchop Conversation with Keyukemi Ubi, Co-founder at DigiLaw

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 Keyukemi Ubi, co-founder and head of operations at Digilaw. Keyukemi is a Law graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. She is currently working as a paralegal freelancer. She loves listening to music, blogging, and engaging in intellectual conversations. Keyukemi aspires to have a long-term effect on the future of Technology law in Nigeria and the world.

How is a typical day like at DigiLaw?

Digilaw is a legal ed-tech startup, and our goal is to bridge the gap between law and technology. So we use channels like articles, research papers, videos, and podcasts to educate both legal and non-legal personnel on the nitty-gritty of legal technology. As head of operations, I keep the engine running. I manage communications with our writers and contributors. I also double as an editor, so I have to make sure that content is well primed for the audience. I have to do some editing and restructuring of articles, make sure they are Search Engine Optimized, create promotional pictures for social media while ensuring we are not violating any media laws or ethics. 

On some other days, I am hustling to make sure that we put out content for the Fit and Proper Podcast (a podcast to help Nigerian Law School Students). I function as the director/ host, so I have to communicate with co-hosts and make sure episodes are recorded, then my partner takes it from there. Some days are quite a roller coaster, and other days things are just slow, but we have to keep moving. 

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

Hmm, for gadgets, I would say my phone and laptop. They are my best friends and work buddies. I use my phone for communications, i.e., calling, texting, and emailing stakeholders, depending on my deliverable. I also use calendly for scheduling and zoom for meetings. I probably shut down my laptop like once in two weeks because there is always something pending. 

What is your favorite hack on staying productive?

Daily to-do-list!

I easily get overwhelmed. I know people like to say, “I work well under pressure,” but I can’t say the same for myself. I can survive working under pressure, but I’m not too fond of it, and I would rather plan each step meticulously, so I don’t have to live using the fire brigade approach constantly. So, I have weekly plans and achievements, and then I break them down into small daily plans with designated hours to spend on them. I prioritize the most important and urgent ones and look for how to deal with others over time.  

I also have a daily routine that I try to follow to keep up with my personal development goals. 

How do you recharge or take a break? What do you spend time doing besides work?

I like to take breaks, especially because life is too short for you to work so hard and not enjoy yourself. I don’t go out much so I watch movies, chat with my friends or take long walks. Sometimes I do yoga, and other times I sleep because that’s all I need to recharge. 

What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to?

I like sitcoms, so right now, I am watching The office; I just started season 8. I watch one or two episodes a day. an episode is like 20 mins. I have been alternating between books, so I read One or two chapters of a book and then go to where I stopped in another. So right now, I am concurrently reading: 

– Range: how generalist survive in a specialized world by David Epstein 

– The Singapore Stories, Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

– Venture Deals by Brad Feld

I don’t listen to podcasts as regularly as I used to, but I Like Business wars and I Said What I Said podcasts. 

Who would you like to answer these questions?

My partner, Akin Agunbiade. He is more interesting

LegalTech Communities for Lawyers in Africa

LegalTech Communities for Lawyers in Africa

Image Source : legalmart.com

As legal practitioners in Africa seek a better understanding of what is happening at the cutting edge of law and technology, as well as exploring opportunities to participate in the development or adoption of new legal technologies, there is no shortage of communities to which they can turn. 

Lawyers can join a legal community platform (more virtual than physical) in order to gain access to accurate information and knowledge sharing. Today’s world revolves around interactions and personal relationships, hence being a part of such communities is critical to building a high-quality network of colleagues for situations where you need guidance, advice or suggestions.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of a community that offers free and private connections while still providing opportunities to learn and share information on a daily basis?

Changes in the legal industry brought about by technology have spawned a fascinating network of communities devoted to legal innovation in all its forms:

  1. The Innovation Law Club Africa

The Innovation Law Club Africa (“ILCA”) is a global network of technology law experts. The ILCA was founded to educate and empower lawyers and law students on a wide range of technology law topics. ILCA recognizes the need to train a new generation of African lawyers who understand how the law responds to the growth, challenges, and opportunities of innovation. The ILCA has organized a number of insightful events in line with their objectives. For instance, the conversation with Rajan Gupta, Head of Legal Technology, Facebook. Also, the fireside chat with Aaron Fu, Head of Growth at the Catalyst Fund, and many more. Join the community .

  1. The Africa Law and Tech Network

The African Law & Tech Network is a group of legal industry experts and connectors who collaborate with law firms, regulators, and governments all over the world. The ALT Network’s mission is to strengthen Africa’s legal and technological ecosystem by promoting the growth of enabling legislative and regulatory environments for tech innovation across all industries. Membership of this community comes both in the free access and the paid access. You can get more information on being a member of the community here.

  1. Africa Legal

Africa Legal was created in 2018 with the aim of making it easier for African legal professionals to advance their careers, stay up to date on industry news, and take advantage of digital courses all in one spot. Africa Legal’s mission is to become the go-to resource for African professional careers at any time and any place.

  1. Legal Hackers

Legal Hackers is a global movement of lawyers, policymakers, designers, technologists, and academics who explore and create innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing legal and technological issues. Legal Hackers identify challenges and opportunities in the practice of law through local meetups, hackathons, and workshops. In Africa, there is Legal Hackers Lagos, Legal Hackers Abuja, Legal Hackers Cape Town, Legal Hackers Accra, Legal Hackers Kampala, and many more.

  1. Lawyers Hub Kenya

The Lawyers Hub, Kenya is a Legal-Technology Policy organization whose mission is to provide creative and technology-driven solutions to policy, legal practice, and access to justice, with an emphasis on technology-driven businesses and policy alternatives. HiiL, Google, Omidyar Network, Scale My Hustle, Amnesty International, and others have lent their support to this community. The Lawyers Hub, Kenya has a telegram community platform that you can join here.

  1. Africa Innovation Law and Tech Academy

The academy equips students with the legal expertise and technical skills necessary to comprehend the relationship between law, technology, and innovation.

7. Lawyers in Tech

The Lawyers in Tech community has a mission to ensure that new generation of lawyers are well-prepared to practice law in this digital age. They believe that lawyers must be bilingual; they must understand both the language of the code and the language of the law. For anyone interested in being a part of this community, you can send your names and phone numbers to faithbose.obafemi@gmail.com.

  1. Africa Law Tech Association

This association was formed by the Lawyers Hub with the aim of engaging Individual members, institutions, law firms, tech firms, development partners, other relevant organizations across the continent on law and technology spheres. The association is also the organizer of the annual Africa Law Tech Festival, an annual conference designed to appeal to a wide array of players in the legal tech space through a multifaceted approach to conferencing. The Festival brings together like-minded individuals to lead idea-focused conversations and further innovation. Join the community here.

It is important and beneficial to be a member of any of the communities as even the African proverb says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”