Ahmed.

Founder and CEO, LawTrades.com
New York City

Raad Ahmed ’13

As law school began, Raad Ahmed fully expected to follow the traditional path: work hard, get good grades, find a job in a law firm. But two things conspired to change his mind.

The first was the success of an app he created that, he says, “makes your Facebook page look awesome.” “That got me more excited about going the entrepreneurial route,” he says.

The second was that, in all his reading about starting your own law practice, he realized how hard it is to find clients and build a practice. “I started wondering why it isn’t easier for people to find legal help,” he says. “Access to legal services is a huge issue.”

So he created a system that made it possible to book an appointment with a lawyer online. He sought feedback from other students, entrepreneurs and lawyers, and developed his company, Lawtrades.com, starting with a handful of attorneys in New York City. The company now has four employees and works with over 300 lawyers in 40 cities, providing potential clients, Ahmed says, “a portal for finding interested and available lawyers who can take your case, in a quick and seamless process.”

He acknowledges that plunging into the uncertain world of entrepreneurship was a risk, especially for someone carrying student loan debt. But, he says, “I really wanted to be the first in the market for something like this. I took a chance, and luckily it’s working out for me right now.”