Lawctopus: The journey of “A website for law students”- Part I

By Tanuj Kalia

Chicken Pox and Introspection

A severe ear infection caused by my Gummy Bear-like liking for sweets had nearly disabled me. The ear drops which the doc gave me seemed to be producing a number of swellings at the back of my ear. When I went back to the doc to complain of ‘reaction’ the medicine had caused he told me that the swellings were early signs of Chicken Pox! At 20, Chicken Pox had hit me late.

After numerous inquiries about hospitals I found that the private hospitals at 5000 rupees a day and government hospitals at their unhygienic best were not feasible. I took a flight the same day and went back to Chandigarh.

Chicken Pox is painful and exhausting. It makes you look and feel ugly. You have nothing to show-off and its best to feel happy during those few hours when your body feels right. Its the best time to introspect.

Shri Rabindranath Tagore

After 10 days of religiously following the ‘bed rest’ advised by the doctors, I was getting bored. I took a Rabindranath Tagore’ biography by the NBT (national book trust). The first ideas of “a website for law students in India” were jotted down in the little empty spaces the book afforded. The potential team members with their roles meticulously planned too found their place somewhere. The pages got filled in 4 days time and in that time period, courtesy Tagore’s powerful words maybe, I got completely healed.

Yes and No! Entrepreneurial Talks in CCD.

Back in Cal I talked to my friends about “The website for law students”. Some said no. Some said yes. Dhruv Vijay Mairal, Debanshu Khettry, Prateek Bhandari and Naman Gupta said a resounding yes and all of yours truly are the co-founders of Lawctopus.

Our first meeting was at CCD, Sector V, Salt Lake City, Kolkata. We went their with laptops, trying our best to don that young, ready to launch entrepreneurial look. CCD’s wi-fi was defunct but heads still turned when five 20 year olds talked loudly and debated in full moot court style on things which ranged from “Pvt. Ltd. Co” to “LLP” to making 6 figures through a website.

Thankfully our heads turned to sanity, soon.

That was our first and the last meeting in CCD. All other meetings have been in Dhruv’s ‘double room-single occupancy’ Room No. 228. We realised that we had to bootstrap and save money. We had already decided to pool in our 5k from the adjustable deposit towards the website. I was expecting to win some good money courtesy of my blogavatar Legal Poet on LegallyIndia. All in all we had a nice 40k corpus.


Discussions on registration-Pvt. Ltd. Co, LLP, Sole Proprietorship etc- produced loud, heated and circum-ambulatory debates and went on till one day a young lawyer called Ankur Singla suggested that we should do away with the registration bit, at least for starters. A big thank you to him for saving us a large part of our 50k.

We were worried that website designing would cost a bomb. We soon realised that Dhruv and Prateek were a handful and with them we had a Web-Design Diwali late into the nights. Our first domain name was as it was no-nonsense and descriptive, something which our research told us was good. We couldn’t find better names too.

Trilegal- Pentagon- Lawctopus

One fine day, the discussion moved-as they do on fine days- from Trilegal to Pentagon to-well, it is easy- Lawctopus! We all loved the name; one of the little things which made us happy. And oh yes! We are very jugaadu too. We didn’t have a credit card to pay the GoDaddy guys so Dhruv created an online credit card out of his debit card. Ask him how!

And here is Lawctopus! Our earlier tagline went something like this- Lawctopus: Helping hands for law students. We soon realised that this was a bit uncool, something what Lawstudentindia was. Lawctopus: Causing whirlpools in law schools is something doing the rounds too. Today, we stand by both our taglines.

More later!


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