Author's blurb: I've always been interested in law, but unlike Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, I never had the courage to continue my studies. That being said, I was still researching legal material online, if only for fun.
Today there is a group of Malaysian lawyers who make legal information fun and easy to understand on Instagram, much like Docere does with medical information.
The site is called Advogeeks and it is run by 3 lawyers in Malaysia named Hong Shi, Thilagam and Alia. All three are managing and founding partners of a law firm that handles a variety of cases from civil litigation to transfer cases.
Dictionary time: Transfer is the process of transferring a title from one person to another. This usually happens between the seller and the buyer, who both have signed a purchase agreement for a piece of land or a residential property.
Make law accessible to everyone
Founded out of a shared interest in sharing knowledge, the goal of Advogeeks is to promote legal education and awareness among Malaysians. Because the legal knowledge here is anything but satisfactory, but the topic affects everyone in society.
So the attorneys try to put legal information online in a fun way so that people can get aware of it. Their Instagram has bite-sized information on topics ranging from the legality of polygamy in Malaysia to what happens if you don't carry your IC around with you.
Make taboo subjects easy to understand / Image source: Advogeeks
The content is also posted in multiple languages and adapts to different communities, be it the B40, M40 and T20 groups or those of different ages, races, genders, religions, etc.
"We believe everyone should know their rights, especially when dealing with everyday problems, from the mundane things like online shopping to more serious matters like bankruptcy, civil marriages and crime," Hong Shi told the Vulcan Post.
Don't get lost in translation
What makes the law difficult for the average person to understand is the complex jargon that takes extra effort to research and understand it. Hong Shi stated that this is also a challenge for the team at Advogeeks in creating their content.
“The ultimate challenge is to be a trendsetter in one of the oldest professions in the world, and you have to meet some standards,” said the team. "(The) content has to be interesting and engaging in order to achieve our goal, but we also have to pay attention to our presentation style in order to preserve the dignity of the profession."
Hong Shi translates content into Mandarin, Alia does the Malay translations and Thilagam does this for the Tamil language / Image source: Advogeeks
In addition to their full-time employment, lawyers also need to spend extra time reading and research laws to produce consistent posts for their site.
To avoid burnout, they have set up a rotation system in which each of them has to prepare their individual content for the assigned week. Once this is prepared, the multiracial team will simply translate it from English to Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
With every translation, care is taken to ensure that the actual meaning is not lost in the translation.
Hong Shi added that addressing controversial issues means a higher level of complexity in the way she presents her information, such as her post on sexual harassment. "These are sensitive issues and when dealing with sensitive issues we have to be careful in order to be respectful," she explained.
For a legal society
While posting information on social media makes finding certain keywords more difficult compared to a website, advogeeks actually have a specific agenda for their method.
In most cases, those looking for legal information are active learners interested in the law. Such groups would simply search Google and be presented with a sea of knowledge from the many websites out there to learn on their own.
However, this is not the case for someone who is just trying to find out about legal matters in a passive manner. Advogeeks is trying to fill that void, as most would be scrolling through social media in their free time anyway.
“We want to take the initiative to approach them, show them the legal information and knowledge right in front of them, simplify the material and gradually feed them the legal knowledge, in the hope that our followers will have more fluent legal knowledge. “They explained.
Whether or not they plan to monetize their content, they shared that this has never been discussed. With the aim of increasing their reach for the time being, they want to provide Malaysians with better legal competence and, even better, that their content will help people when the situation arises.
However, the team is open to working with like-minded partners who share the same goal of educating the public on legal matters through effective advocacy.
“Law is fun and we just want everyone to experience the fun. If a brand can help us achieve our goal, we will certainly work with them, ”concluded Hong Shi.
Bottom line: While their content is not designed in the most aesthetically pleasing way, each post contains valuable information that has been simplified for everyone. Ultimately, it is this information that is most important in improving Malay literacy regarding our rights.
- Find out more about Advogeeks here.
- You can find more articles we've written about Malaysian startups here.
Photo credit: (left to right) Thilagam, Hong Shi and Alia, lawyers behind Advogeeks