Anup Mehta, Founder 30 Minute Chat.
You want to break into law. But don’t have access to a network. And cold messaging/networking is a pain. “I know how hard it is” says Anup Mehta, a first-gen student who started off with ambitions of being a city lawyer. “I didn’t know anyone. And found networking events difficult. Cold messaging didn’t work either”.
Despite this, Anup went on to achieve his ambitions, later joining the Leveraged Finance team at A&O. “I was doing really well for myself” he reflected. “But, for personal reasons, I knew I wanted to do something that helped others on a bigger scale.”
After pursuing his other childhood dreams – becoming a white-collar boxer and doing some stage acting – Anup became a consultant at Peerpoint to figure things out. Growing up helping his dad at his small shop in Wolverhampton, entrepreneurship was always a draw. Putting two and two together, Anup started exploring the world of social impact startups.
He then quit to go full-time on bkynd (“be kind”), an Uber for Volunteering platform launched to help others in the pandemic. After it ran into difficulties, he found himself wondering what to do.
“I wanted to talk to another social impact founder a few steps ahead, just to get some quick insights on the challenges I was facing, but I didn’t know anyone.”
That feeling of a lack of access took him back to when he was younger trying to break into law. Something clicked. Which led to…
The Solution: 30 Minute Chat (a.k.a “3MC”)
3MC is a social impact startup connecting students and paralegals trying to break into law with high-profile lawyers for 30-min chats for free 1:1 career insights and/or application sense-checks.
“I know as a student that I wanted access to someone relevant. I also know as a lawyer that I wanted to give back. But the access problem as a student – and the busyness problem as a lawyer – makes this difficult. That’s why I’ve designed 3MC to solve this in a way that suits both sides.”
How does it work?
As the seeker, you can browse the profiles of 180+ lawyers from a range of firms/chambers. If you find someone interesting, you just pick some times that work for you and answer some questions to make a request.
As the lawyer, you read the request details, with no obligation to accept it (3MC handles this directly with the seeker, usually by trying to find them a similar alternative). If you can help, you simply pick one of the slots suggested or give some alternatives.
You both then jump on a video call to go through the request – kind of like a doctor’s surgery – with 3MC removing the pain of scheduling for both sides. There’s no obligation to follow-up but the lawyer can invite the seeker to make another request. The seeker can also use the platform to request a chat with others.
Does it work?
The feedback has been phenomenal. One student said “3MC not only gave me a platform to share my struggles but also changed my perception about a lot of things, especially coming to a realisation that I’m not alone in this situation. And there’s always a way out of my challenges.”
Another was a paralegal struggling with rejections. After coming across 3MC, she used it to prepare for future interviews, going on to land a training contract with Slaughter & May. She described it as “probably the most useful resource I’ve had to date. The chats were really encouraging.”
Are you a student (law or non-law) wanting 1:1 legal insights/application sense-checks? Then check out 3MC here.
PS if there’s a law firm or chambers set or type of law that’s not currently represented, feel free to email Anup at email@example.com and he’ll source for you.