Rancho Santa Fe attorney helps launch virtual legal service

In the 1990s, Rancho Santa Fe-based attorney Michael Djavaherian wrote about the potential for videoconferencing in the legal industry as a columnist for the San Diego Daily Transcript.

“I was way, way, way too early with that kind of talk,” said Djavaherian, who has lived in North County for more than 20 years and was once the chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Tech Committee.

Michael Djavaherian

Years later, he spoke with his cousin about the idea for a company that provides a virtual space for potential clients to find attorneys and hold video meetings. His cousin later used his knowledge and connections to help Xira off the ground.

When the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in working from home and other virtual services, the company, XIRA, launched a little earlier than expected to help serve the growing demand.

“If we were already out there, this would have been a shot of adrenaline to our business,” Djavaherian said, recalling the founders’ thoughts shortly after the pandemic struck. “Let’s get out there as quickly as we can.”

Djavaherian said XIRA proceeded with a soft launch in the San Diego area, which the company is using as a test market.

“So far, the response has been good,” Djavaherian said. “We need to continue growing and add more lawyers, and we’ll move our marketing up the coast to L.A. and into San Francisco. When we’ve got the entire state covered and have lots of interactions going and everything’s going smoothly, then we’re going to launch nationwide.”

The company aims to help attorneys, particularly in smaller firms, reduce overhead and maintain lower rates for their clients. Djavaherian added that it’s a “game-changer” to eliminate the geographic and other limitations of attorneys and clients having to meet in person. XIRA is also looking to expand by adding more attorneys who can be made available through the service.

He also said one of the long-term goals for the company is to expand into other industries.

“This was never intended to be just for law,” Djavaherian said. “This is intended to be a site where people go when they need professional help, whether it’s a lawyer or any other profession: accountant, engineer, financial advisor, architect, whatever it is. We intend to cover all professions.”

For security, every meeting takes place through encrypted connections and uses a unique meeting key issued beforehand. Recording the online meetings is prohibited by XIRA’s terms of service.

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