Image courtesy of: Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University Facebook Page. (left to right:) Hersh Perlis (Director, Legal Innovation Zone), Geevith Rubakumar (founder, ParDONE), Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Rabeea Khalid (OsgoodePD student & Social Media Intern, ParDONE), Chris Bentley (Executive Director, Legal Innovation Zone and Law Practice Program).
The top prize in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General’s Access to Justice Challenge has been awarded to ParDONE, an online B2C platform founded by Geevith Rubakumar, a student of OsgoodePD’s International Business Law program.
ParDONE was developed to give individuals with a criminal record a second chance at success. Accessible by anyone with an internet connect, the platform guides users through an automated record suspension process while keeping the user regularly updated on the process.
“Access to justice to me,” Geevith said during the challenge, “is providing legal services to the most vulnerable in our society so that they can exercise their legal rights.” Geevith, a current student of OsgoodePD, started the LLM in International Business Law in summer of this year. He has also previously successfully completed the Foundations for Graduate Legal Studies certificate program.
As first place, ParDONE has been awarded $25,000 in seed money for platform development, and a four month opportunity to work out of the Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University to sustainably grow the startup platform.
According to ParDONE’s Legal Innovation Zone profile, roughly 10 per cent of Canadians—over three million people—have a criminal record. The platform is free to access, and plans to offer a self oriented record suspension service starting from $99, with a full service option starting at $499. A reduction from the current total cost of a record suspension and US entry waiver, that can exceed $2000.
The Ontario Access to Justice (A2J) Challenge operates as a call to action for startups with innovative solutions for improving access to justice for all Canadians. 2016 is the inaugural year of the A2J Challenge.
Osgoode Professional Development would like to congratulate Geevith Rubakumar on his achievements and we look forward to seeing the platform innovate access to Ontario’s justice system in the near future.