Lauren Riley

Lauren Riley

Founder at The Link App

Lauren on Lord Sugar, being an entrepreneur and the launch of her business, The Link App

Lauren, you first came to the public’s attention when you appeared on The Apprentice a couple of years ago; how has life changed since then?
Things have got even more crazy. I have been able to continue commenting in the media around topics of technology and innovation. Obviously my business, The Link App, has grown from an idea into reality and is now used by law firms across the UK. I'm also regularly giving talks to the legal sector too – I certainly can't complain!

What is The Link App and how did it come about?
It's a desktop app for a lawyer to push information and documents out instantly and securely to their clients’ mobile phones. We are helping law firms improve client communication while gaining a competitive advantage. It came about from an idea I had organically while practising. I observed that the number one complaint from clients of all law firms is around communication. When I proceeded to carry out some research to recommend an app tool to my existing firm, I realised that there was a gap in the market and that lawyers and their clients deserved this kind of investment in technology, which would bring their experiences in-line with other service sectors.

Is The Apprentice as brutal as it seems?
Yes and no. Obviously the edited version that's put out only shows the brutal side of the process for entertainment reasons and that bit is quite harsh but actually it was a lot of fun to film and a really interesting process.

What did you take from it?
I took the warm response from the general public and encouragement from fellow lawyers that The Link App would be a success and used the platform to help me take it forward.

Lord Sugar in the three words: GO!
Not like me.

Did you return to your work as a lawyer after you left the show?
I'd already secured a position as a consultant solicitor working flexible hours and living in London. I had already left full time practice to found The Link App anyway. So yes, part time, for a short period.

Was it to get it off the ground?
In a way yes, starting any business is always tough and lawyers are notoriously slow to adopt new technology. However, I'm really pleased with the attitude of the profession to embracing our product and the feedback we get from users is great.

What are your aims/ ambitions for it?
We aim to replace all traditional communications, in the majority of instances, (e-mail, fax, letters) for the benefit of lawyers and clients. We want to be the communication tool of choice for all law firms in the UK.

Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur or a lawyer first and foremost?
That is a difficult question. I'd have to say an entrepreneur. I'm extremely proud of being a lawyer but as I'm no longer in practice and the business consumes almost my every waking moment I'd have to say entrepreneur.

However I'm really pleased that I've founded a business aimed solely at law firms because it means I'm surrounded by, and helping, other members of the profession.

Any words of advice for any budding legal entrepreneurs out there?
I'd have to say go for it. It is not an easy option but the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I'm proud every day of my team, the product we continue to build and the difference we make to our users. That would be a very difficult feeling to replace and job satisfaction is not guaranteed in this world. They will have more transferrable skills than they realise. I am planning to expand my series of blogs/vlogs to include more on advice for entrepreneurs as this is something I get asked quite a lot on social media - hopefully this will be helpful.