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Lesha Van Der Bij - The Wonder Woman of legal compliance

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Lesha Van Der Bij, Founder and CEO of our latest feature: Optimize Legal

Lesha Van Der Bij - Founder & CEO, Optimize Legal

Not all Wonder Women wear armour or deflect bullets with their wrists, but they do all have an admirable tenacity.

Meet Lesha - She enters the legal innovation realm with a breadth of knowledge and experience.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto, practiced law, and served key roles in knowledge management, for over 20 years.

During her years in the legal industry, Lesha noticed that legal services were not easily accessible. Clients were sometimes paying hefty fees for work that should not be that expensive to obtain, such as gathering basic legal information. She explains,

“I was often spending hours preparing cross-jurisdictional charts on the applicability of regulations and breaking down the meaning of basic laws. I thought there has to be an easier way to do this and make it more accessible to clients.”

Optimize Legal launched in 2016, led by an all-female team, with this core principle in mind; providing clients, such as law firms and businesses, a platform where they can easily find laws relevant to them and understand how it impacts their operations, at a fraction of the cost.

As of March 2020, Optimize Legal has three products: Optimize Employment, Optimize Pensions, and Optimize Compliance – with a wide-ranging reach that extends beyond just the legal industry.

Given Optimize Legal’s veteran status in legal innovation, it has provided Lesha an abundance of experience, but also concern.

It does not take long to realize that the field of legal tech, along with the legal system as a whole, lacks in female involvement.

Lesha points out, “Female innovators are definitely in the minority. I’ll often be in meetings where I’m the only woman.”

How can this change?

According to Lesha,

“Legal technology is a great space for women, with great opportunities. It’s great for women with legal backgrounds who are seeking different career paths. Some people may be afraid to enter legal tech because they are not familiar with coding or other technical aspects. Just make sure you have someone to work with that has those skill sets and understands the problem you’re seeking to address.”

Lesha also points out the importance of identifying a particular “pain-point”. She elaborates,

“You need to make sure there’s a problem, a real pain-point that is relevant and needs to be solved.”

Although, in these ever-changing times these “pain-points” seem to grow exponentially day-by-day, especially in the delivery of legal services. So, how are legal startups and innovators to respond and prepare?

Lesha responds,

“Start-ups are going to have to be very flexible and agile, able to change in unpredictable times. As well, they should look to be more broad-based, so they can serve multiple industries, as some industries are being hit harder than others.”

In the midst of a global pandemic, Lesha and her business partner, Gayle Wadden, successfully launched Optimize Legal’s most recent product, Optimize Compliance, which includes back-to-work compliance information.

She hopes to continue expanding Optimize Legal into the near future, COVID or not, in order to improve the accessibility to legal information and simplify legal compliance.


You can connect with Lesha on:

You can find out more about Optimize Legal here: Optimize Legal


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