Talking law with LUMA
A chatbot that makes legal help available and accessible to all South Africans.
Feersum Engine | Service Design | Client Partnership
In 2019, Grace Gichanga entered the SAB Foundation Social Innovation and Disability Empowerment Awards. She won, and you’re about to see exactly why.
As part of her prize, she chose Praekelt – a company that consulted her through the business planning and entry process – as the partner to help bring her idea to life, and together we created LUMA, the chatbot that makes legal help readily available to South Africans whenever they need it.
LUMA walks the justice journey with its users, providing them with practical and user-friendly legal information. Through the power of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, it breaks down the barriers between South Africans and the laws that protect them.
To enhance the user experience and dispel the myth that robots are here to take over, LUMA works with a team of lawyers to provide legal assistance, with consultations starting at R270.
Conversation design workshop
The first step was one of those magical workshops where we do all the fun stuff – strategic positioning, naming the bot, fine-tuning its persona, figuring out the value proposition and what the first release would look like. We had four phenomenal paralegals involved to cover every possible angle.
Fine-tuning LUMA’s features
After said fun stuff, we settled on a set of features and way of doing things: LUMA teaches people about labour law, evictions, and family law involving marriages, wills, and estates. It uses the art of storytelling as an understandable way of explaining complicated subject matter.
The spirit of enablement
LUMA is all about enabling and educating people. In that same spirit, this is a shining example of how we enable our clients to use our product, Feersum Engine, by themselves, allowing them to navigate the platform without our help.
This particular chatbot was built for Facebook Messenger, however one of Feersum’s main characteristics is that it is channel agnostic. A similar version of this instance, known as Law For All, has been rolled out on webchat.
This was built using our Standard offering as seen on Praekelt.com/Feersum – it includes integration, flow setup, conversational setup, and buttons to aid users in their decision-making.
Law for All
LUMA was the first-ever bot we’ve built that has been whitelisted, and has been applied and rolled out on the web by Law for All, one of the top legal insurance firms in South Africa.
A little bot with a lot of knowledge.
All of the legal information LUMA has to offer is free, with paid packages being rolled out in the future. South Africans will soon be able to access affordable legal assistance starting at R270 for consultations.
Working with the Praekelt team has taught me to reimagine what is possible at the intersection between technology and human experience.