I’m all in on our mission to make justice accessible to everyone. If we can do that in my lifetime, it will certainly make a positive dent in the universe and will take people all over the world to be a part of it.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Charley Moore. Charley is the Founder and CEO of Rocket Lawyer Incorporated. His experience as an attorney representing startups exposed him to both the high cost and high value of great legal advice. So, he started Rocket Lawyer to deliver high value legal services at a price nearly everyone can afford. Today, Rocket Lawyer is one of the most widely used legal services in the world, with operations in the United States and the United Kingdom. Charley has been engaged in Internet law and business since beginning his career as an attorney at Venture Law Group in Menlo Park, California. He represented Yahoo! (IPO), WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft) and Cerent Corporation (acquired by Cisco Systems) at critical early stages and was the founder of Onstation Corporation (acquired by The Cobalt Group). Charley graduated from the United States Naval Academy (BS) and the University of California at Berkeley (Juris Doctorate). He served as a U.S. Naval officer and is a Gulf War veteran. Charley currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Rocket Lawyer and on the executive board of Tech for America (T4A).
Thank you so much fr joining us Charley! Can you share with us the story of how you decided to pursue this career path? What lessons can others learn from your story?
My experience as an attorney representing startups exposed me to the high cost and high value of great legal advice, and the number of people priced out of justice. So, I started Rocket Lawyer to deliver legal services at a price nearly everyone can afford. Today, Rocket Lawyer is one of the most widely used legal services in the world, with operations in the United States, Mexico and Europe.
I believe that an important lesson to take away is to never take no for an answer. If you have a vision, go for it relentlessly because you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I’m really excited about blockchain technology and its potential. We recently announced a partnership with ConsenSys, an Ethereum blockchain company, and ConsenSys startup, OpenLaw, to accelerate the distribution of our Rocket Wallet™ service for trusted smart contract execution.
By operating on the blockchain, Rocket Lawyer is the first mainstream legal tech company to create smarter transactions and limit the sharing of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII) to prioritize consumer privacy and security.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have many mentors and partners along the way, especially my wife, Monique, who thought she was marrying a young lawyer on the predictable and lucrative partner track at a respectable law firm, only to find out that I was quitting my job the week after our honeymoon to work on a startup in our loft. But, she rolled with it and we’ve been entrepreneurs together ever since!
What are the 5 things that most excite you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
Blockchain has the potential to make an industry layered with complexity and cost more streamlined and affordable. Five things that excite me most about blockchain:
- Smart Contracts: Self-executing contracts, running on blockchains, can potentially make doing business more efficient and scalable, by both reducing disputes and making it far more efficient to resolve conflicts. Contracts will automatically be implemented once certain criteria are met, removing the middleman and inefficiencies that typically arise when facilitating these type of transactions. This ultimately lowers fees and saves time for all parties involved, reducing the hassle and stress for individuals and organizations.
- Automated Dispute Resolution: Blockchain technology is secure, transparent and immutable, which can help contesting parties (and the judicial industry) navigate dispute resolution. This can be especially useful to small- and medium-sized businesses since terms, conditions and identities are stored on the blockchain, which holds stakeholders accountable.
- Identity Management Applications: Blockchain can also empower individuals to have control over their own personal information and data. It can limit the sharing of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII) and enhance consumer privacy and security.
- Intellectual Property: Blockchain can be especially useful in helping artists and companies protect their intellectual property rights on trademarks, patents and copyrights. Hiring a lawyer to sue another organization or person for utilizing intellectual property that does not belong to them can be an expensive and timely process. Blockchain’s immutability ensures that artists or small businesses that can’t necessarily afford the means to hire a lawyer to go after companies or people who infringe on their intellectual property are able to successfully provide proof and validation of their work.
- Buying/Selling Property: Transferring property ownership can be more efficient thanks to the transparent nature of blockchain. Additionally, paperwork can be reduced with little interference from middlemen.
What are the 5 things worry you about blockchain and crypto? Why?
I’ll give you three: 1) the key problem for blockchain right now is scalability. The blockchains that depend on independent nodes (i.e., “miners”) to validate transactions and entries suffer from high costs and relatively long settlement time frames — this is a big speed bump to blockchain going mainstream and we’re working to figure it out for our own projects; 2) for cryptocurrencies, ensuring scarcity and managing supply is proving difficult for community-managed tokens, resulting in a lack of trust and inability to value the assets predictably; and that leads to 3) regulation, which is absolutely necessary and should be embraced by blockchain entrepreneurs as critical for the long-term growth and viability of token systems.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
The success of Rocket Lawyer has helped millions of small businesses,individuals and families around the world get the legal services they need at a price they can afford. Here are just a few of their stories:
Evan wanted to legally grant Power of Attorney to his wife, Rebecca, but his busy schedule didn’t afford him much time to search for and meet with a lawyer. He found Rocket Lawyer and was able to draft the document in half an hour, crediting Rocket Lawyer’s intuitive and easy to use platform. He said, “Ten or twenty years ago, this would’ve been incredibly frustrating and expensive — Rocket Lawyer is way more convenient.”
Gary is the owner of Green Energy Solutions, the maker of affordable, environmentally-friendly lighting. After trying to work with an attorney to incorporate his new business, he quickly learned how expensive it was and decided to take a ‘do it with me’ approach with Rocket Lawyer instead. Rocket Lawyer took care of the entire process and has helped him grow his business, which he’s now looking to expand into affordable, eco-friendly paint!
Mary is a UK-based business consultant and the owner of Corporate Growth Consultancy, which specializes in workplace training to improve customer experience. She used Rocket Lawyer to easily draft updated privacy and data security policies prior to the GDPR rollout, as well as create a fire risk assessment document and a new health and safety policy.
As you know, there are not a lot of people of color in the tech sector. Can you share 3 things that you would advise to other men and women of color in the tech space to thrive?
1.Focus on customers. That’s the first law of business and it doesn’t matter who you are nearly as much as your passion and commitment to what your customers want and need.
2.Network with people who you can help and especially those who can teach you something you don’t know. Listen and learn.
3.Persevere and enjoy the journey you’ve chosen as a happy warrior.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more men and women of color into the blockchain industry?
- Like all communities, the blockchain community must be welcoming and embrace diversity to make it easier for people of color to engage and for blockchain to reach its potential.
- That said, it’s incumbent on all entrepreneurs, regardless of who they are, to relentlessly pursue their vision. It’s often hard, but, that’s the work.
What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?
“The race is not always to the swift, nor yet riches to those of understanding, but, time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes. You have to be in it to win it and most people quit long before they would be defeated by a competitor. Almost every success I’ve ever seen my customers or teams achieve came after one or more significant setbacks that would have caused someone else to quit or fail.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I’m all in on our mission at Rocket Lawyer to make justice accessible to everyone. If we can do that in my lifetime, it will certainly make a positive dent in the universe and will take people all over the world to be a part of it.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for joining us!