Dr. Benedikt quarch successfully studied law – and instead of pursuing a traditional legal profession, he became self-employed. With the startup rightnow, he buys legal claims of all kinds from consumers – whether flight cancellations, train delays – or currently corona travel vouchers. In an interview with mkg law students.De reveals why he decided to start a legal tech company, and what tips he would give to law students thinking about starting a business.
Mr. Dr. Quarch, you passed your first law exam in hesse in 2016 at the top of your class – why did you decide (for now) against a career in big law firms or the public sector and take the plunge into self-employment?
If I am completely honest, this has developed in any case in the beginning rather accidentally. Together with my co-founders phillip eischet – whom i have known since school days – and torben antretter, we came up with the idea for the "rightnow" business model, which was initially called "money-for-flight". When we first set about implementing this idea in the proverbial "garage", the entrepreneurial passion gripped me and has not let go since then. Today i can say that the decision for entrepreneurship was absolutely right. It is simply incredible fun to work every day on the further development of one's own company, and at the same time to advance legal tech in germany and europe. Because one thing is clear: the special thing about rightnow is that i can combine law and entrepreneurship. This is the best. In addition to rightnow, i am very interested in science and am pleased to have published a little again this year (e.G., in the field of real estate). A specialist book on state liability law in the corona crisis will be published at the end of the year.).
Would you say that the traditional law degree blocks young people's ability to innovate to a certain extent??
I definitely think so – after all, the concept of the study dates back more or less to the 19th century. Century. In my opinion, two things are particularly important here. First, digitization and innovation must become an integral part of law school – starting with the ability to take exams digitally, the ability to use the v. A. European-style digitalization law is also being taught more intensively, and that students are being taught how to deal with digitalization and automation from the IT side as well. I often think of estonia, which is already experimenting with "robo judges" – germany must not lag behind there. And secondly, students must be provided with "role models" and experience reports that credibly convey that law is much more than the transfer of a mortgage in good faith. Together with lina krawietz, founder of the innovation consultancy "this is legal design", i have started the initiative "founders in law" for this purpose. If we can make at least a small contribution in this way to making law studies and lawyers more innovative, that would make us very happy.
Entrepreneurial thinking is certainly taught more in business studies than in law studies. But what special competencies do lawyers have as entrepreneurs that may not be so pronounced among bwlers?
I myself also studied business, which certainly gave me a good basic understanding of economic correlations. But studying law also helps a lot: it promotes very analytical thinking – that can only be an advantage.
But I still wouldn't differentiate by subject – entrepreneurship, innovation and digital thinking are best learned "on the job" anyway.
And at rightnow, of course, jura also plays a crucial role in enforcing the claims we have purchased.
What tips would you give to law students who have confidence in their ideas, but think that law school didn't give them the right tools for starting a business and becoming self-employed – maybe even inhibited entrepreneurial thinking?
The most important motto i learned back in my school days is: "being an entrepreneur means taking action"."So: have confidence in yourself and be brave to "just do it."That's what matters. Of course, lawyers tend to be risk-averse, but you do need to be a bit risk-averse – everything else will come naturally. This is shown by many great examples of successful legal entrepreneurs. We show a small selection on founders in law. And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would be pleased!
The "founders in law" platform presents role models for founders in order to show that, in addition to successful lawyers who have chosen a traditional legal profession, there are many great founding personalities that law students and others can look up to for inspiration. Also be able to orientate yourself.