When technology meets law

Mamta Siwakoti

Founder, The Digital Lawyer

Amidst the lockdown of June 2020, lawyer Mamta Siwakoti had just gotten her lawyer’s licence but work had come to a standstill. She decided to use social media platforms to begin practice. When asked about her first video, she says that it wasn’t a philosophical process, rather she saw someone on social media giving medical advice, and she thought of following suit by offering legal advice. In June 2020, Siwakoti started her journey to become ‘The Digital Lawyer’.

“The Digital Lawyer is simply the digital personification of a lawyer; a social media law literacy campaign,” says Siwakoti. Through Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, she aims to educate the public on the subject of law. She believes, “For people to follow the systems of the country, they need to first be aware of the existing laws.”

With her father being a lawyer, Siwakoti grew up hearing about legal issues regularly at home. “I grew up in a very nationalist household,” she shares. Her proximity to the legal field from a young age is what motivated her to pursue a career in law.

When asked about how she chooses which issue to cover in her videos, she says, “First, if there are a lot of requests to cover the same issue, I talk about that. Second, I try to include current affairs as much as possible in my videos.” Siwakoti covers a wide range of topics from cryptocurrency, voting, divorce to physical abuse, animal rights, trespassing. Her videos are loved by the public and she has successfully gained a following of 124,000 on TikTok alone.

The downside of social fame are the numerous instances of sexism, threats, and trolling. But she takes it in her stride acknowledging that you have to be able to receive the criticism and the accolades in equal measure when you put yourself in public space.

Siwakoti says, “The legal system of our country is weak. I want to make people in the country aware of how important it is for our country’s system to start gaining momentum.” She wants the public to know all the basic rules and regulations of the country. She adds, “The concept of digital law came into existence to make the general public aware of their basic rights and duties and to know the law of the land.”

The process of making videos isn’t a cognitive process, says Siwakoti. The initial days of her video making were simply done on a phone. She would put on her best suit and give out knowledge that she thought needed to be addressed. She has two ways she likes to research the content: primarily, she wants to be the bridge between the public and the law. She wishes to address the gaps in the people’s most asked questions, which according to her are related to corporal punishment, divorce, court marriage, and vehicular homicide. Second, she likes to keep up with current events around the world. She looks at the notices issued by the ministries and tries to address them.

Siwakoti says, “Maintaining trust is a very important aspect in a professional field, especially as a lawyer but being a young professional hasn’t really been that easy for me.” She laments, “I am often not taken seriously due to my gender and age, and my clients too try to seek help from a male persona.” But despite the challenges, Siwakoti knows that to break the bias, she must continue undeterred.

The work and digital presence haven’t been as easy for her as now she is working on establishing her own firm. She says, “You don’t have to be great to start, you need to start to be great.”

Siwakoti has paved a path for many young influencers. The power of digital platforms is immense if executed well. She aims to translate her idea into a website that is accessible to all. She mentions, “I hope the website will become a digital legal system with low legal fees that can assist anyone in need of legal advice.”

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