De-escalation. That is what Jazz Hampton and two friends from college set out to achieve when they co-founded Turnsignl. An app used during traffic stops to access legal help in real time to de-escalate what is often a very tense situation.

Prior to becoming Turnsignl CEO, Jazz was a public defender and ended up doing commercial litigation at a top Minneapolis law firm. It was there that he began to question whether he was putting his law degree to its best use. 

While Jazz was still in private practice, Philando Castile, with whom two of three Turnsignl co-founders grew up,  was killed by police during a traffic stop near Minneapolis in 2016.

While at a vigil for Castile, Jazz began ask himself how he could use his legal skills for social change.

(Jazz is no stranger to police stops either. He has been stopped 12 times in his life and never been cited for anything.) 

Although it was Castile’s death that planted the seed for Turnsignl, it wasn’t until the 2020 killing of George Floyd that Jazz and his co-founders decided they could wait no more and founded Turnsgnl. 

As Jazz explains, they set out to create a “telelegal” mobile app to connect users with attorneys to advise them during police stops to protect their rights and diffuse the encounters.

Despite being a newcomer to the legal tech space, Turnsignl is already making waves. It is one of 15 legal startups in the Startup Alley at the ABA Techshow. Opening night, the companies will face off in a pitch competition. The winner receives a bundle of marketing and advertising prizes.

Learn more about Jazz.

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Episode Credits

Editing and Production: Grant Blackstock

Theme Music: Home Base (Instrumental Version) by TA2MI

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