The business of law continues to evolve post-Great Recession. Law firms are dealing with clients who are trimming legal budgets, shunning expensive hourly billing rates and subsidized training of associates, and opting for smaller and more cost-sensitive legal options.
These trends have had a ripple effect. The job market for lawyers—while showing signs of improvement in small pockets—remains depressed, resulting in intense critiques of legal education, downward-trending law school applications, and law schools adapting or closing. Presumably, law students and new lawyers notice these trends and are strategizing accordingly, thinking commercially and entrepreneurially about their careers, and seeking the best legal experience and ROI in a rough macro legal market.
Entrepreneurs recognize these trends and a few startups—UpCounsel, Lawdingo, Priori Legal, and LawTrades—are riding a robust tech (and derivative branding) wave to disrupt the increasingly vulnerable legal industry. Each (i) strives to provide a frictionless and transparent platform for cost-conscious clients to quickly acquire legal services, and (ii) offers lawyers an alternative avenue to monetize their degrees free of typical infrastructural and administrative burdens of solo or small practice. This new crop of startups has earned the label “the Uber of law.” What is their value proposition for lawyers? Are they truly Uber-like providers of legal services, or is that just opportunistic branding? Should lawyers care?
* Were you looking for a treasure trove of high school pictures of SCOTUS justices? Well, you’re in luck! [Josh Blackman's Blog]
* Remember when Gov. Bob McDonnell was a rising GOP star? Well, this recap of his federal indictment makes that seem like a distant memory. [TPM Muckraker]
* Here’s a career alternative for you: Space Tyrant. When GW Law grad Alex Gianturco bailed on his gig at Zuckerman Spaeder, he took the usual route of just playing video games all day. With the twist that he actually made money at it. As the most powerful player in EVE Online, The Mittani, as he’s now known, has managed to enrage pretty much everybody out there playing a game basically designed to reward dickish behavior. [Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]
* A pharmacist lands in hot water after trying to connect with a patient. In his defense, being a pharmacist seems like a pretty fool-proof plan to ensure that a potential date has a clean bill of health. [IT-Lex]
* It’s a mixed bag in Ecclestone family litigation news. Tamara Ecclestone lost her dispute with an ex-boyfriend over a Lamborghini Aventador. She’d given the car to her ex-boyfriend and wanted it back, but the High Court deemed the car was a gift. On the other hand, dad Bernie convinced the New York Supreme Court to kick out a £392.5 million lawsuit over an alleged bribe, so on balance it was a decent week for the billionaire family. Now if he could just fix this stupid “double points” thing. [Daily Mail]
* Lawdingo and Themis’s Clio platform have partnered up. Hopefully Lawdingo won’t shy away from light-hearted commercials now that they’ve hit the big time. [Go Clio]
* Kentucky is looking to authorize service monkeys. What can possibly go wrong? [My Fox DC]
* “I Love Boobies” case may go to the Supreme Court. [Jezebel]
* Law firms are warning clients to beware of “Misclassification Creep” which is a “threat” to many businesses. Yeah, it’s a real shame that employees might start getting paid what they actually earn. [Corporate Counsel]
* Recurring ATL subject, Caskers craft spirits retailer, has been sold to Anderson Press. [Pandodaily]
* Meanwhile, another legally related business has raised a total of $850,000. Hopefully they can use some of that to make another hilarious commercial. [Techcrunch]
* Here are 10 things every new lawyer should do right now. Shorter version: start puckering up. [The Careerist]
* In horrible news, a missing Wayne State law student was found dead. [Detroit Free Press]
* A former Biglaw, current Midlaw associate has written a book and created this trailer to promote it. What if a sex toy manufacturer became a patent troll? Video embed after the jump…
If you’re going to launch a business with a video, you might as well be funny.
That’s what the good folks at Lawdingo have done with a brilliant, tongue-in-cheek look at legal advice.
If you’ve not heard about Lawdingo, you’re missing out. One reputable source declared it “the way of the future,” and we’re not about to argue with ourselves. Lawdingo lets a prospective client connect with an attorney and get an immediate legal consultation online with an eye toward building an ongoing attorney-client relationship.
It sounds a little dry, but they had fun with it in this ad.
Kinney Recruiting’sEvan Jowers is currently in Hong Kong for client meetings and still has a few slots available through October 22. Evan will also be in Hong Kong November 14 to December 15. Further, Robert Kinney has been in Frankfurt and Munich this week and is available for meetings with our Germany based readers.
One of our key law firm clients has referred us to one of their important clients in the US, Europe and China – a leading global technology supplier for the auto industry – in order to handle their search for a new Asia General Counsel and Asia Chief Compliance Officer.
Kinney is exclusively handling this in-house search.
This position will have a lot of responsibility and include supervision of eight attorneys underneath them in the Asia in-house team. The new hire will report directly to the global general counsel and global chief compliance officer, who is based in the US. The new hire’s ability to make judgement calls is going to be as important as their technical skill set background.
The position is based in Shanghai and will deal with the company’s operations all over Asia and also in India, including frequent acquisitions in the region.
It is expected that the new hire will come from a top US firm’s Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong offices, currently in a top flight corporate practice at the senior associate, counsel or partner level. Of course, the candidate can be currently in a relevant in-house role.
It’s the legal profession’s equivalent of a long-term relationship.
When Michelle Waites, Senior Patent Counsel for Xerox Corporation, attended The LGBT Bar’s Lavender Law conference several years ago, she wasn’t sure what to expect. She left having forged a lasting business relationship that still endures today.
It was during The LGBT Bar’s event – an annual gathering of more than 1,600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied legal professionals – that Waites first met Marla Butler, a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP, who specializes in patent law.
Today, the two are still close friends as well as professional colleagues. Butler’s firm continues to work with Xerox – a business partnership forged via The LGBT Bar.
On November 19th, The Bar will present its first-ever conference outside the United States. Dubbed “A Lavender Law Experience for Europe,” the day-long Business Legal Conference will replicate programs such as the one that brought Waites and Butler together for legal professionals in Europe.
The JOBS Act created new tools for companies to publicly advertise securities deals online. As a result, thousands of new deals have hit the market and hundreds of millions in capital has been raised, spurring a wealth of new business development opportunities for attorneys.
Fund deals, startup capital raises, PIPE deals and loan syndicates are just a handful of the transactions benefiting from the JOBS Act. InvestorID FirmTM is a platform designed to help attorneys equip their clients with the workflow, marketing and compliance tools to publicly solicit a securities offering online. By providing clients with the tools to painlessly navigate the regulatory landscape of general solicitation, InvestorID FirmTM helps attorneys add value above just legal services.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) went into effect in 2013 and permits Regulation D offerings of securities to be advertised publicly. This means that funds and companies can now use social media, emails and web sites to market transactions to new “accredited” investors.
However, with these new powers come new pain points. InvestorID FirmTM provides a secure, fully hosted, cloud-based platform with a breadth of tools for your clients, including: