Articles Posted in Segmentation of a Company’s Legal Matters

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The Point

  • Recently the Arizona Supreme Court granted Axiom Law authority to provide licensed lawyers and their legal advice directly to businesses that do not have a general counsel or other full-time attorney on their payroll.
  • This matters because attorneys’ bar regulations in the U.S. (except in Washington, D.C.) have prohibited such a direct offering by any entity owned by persons who have not been licensed to practice law.
  • In over 20 years of providing qualified attorneys to businesses that do have full-time in-house counsel, and currently generating in excess of $1 billion in annual revenue, Axiom Law is renowned for two traits:
    1. The high quality of the lawyers it provides to companies; many of whom have practiced law with prestigious traditional law firms or Fortune 500 general counsel offices, lots of them with Ivy League pedigrees, etc., and
    2. Fair charges to their corporate clients. Unlike traditional law firms, Axiom Law does not bill by the hour.

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The Point

Corporate law functions perennially experience chronic shortfalls between the capabilities they have and the ones they need. Meeting these shortfalls requires Legal capability increases at scale. But, as illustrated by Microsoft’s / Jason Barnwell’s experience described in Part I of this two-part series, most law firms resist cooperation  with “law companies” or “alternative legal services providers” who provide the software, data analysis, and business process expertise needed to do routine, recurring “process work” (or “efficiency work” as Elevate Services’ Liam Brown refers to it below) at-scale.

Elevate Services is an outlier among U.S.* legal services providers which has organized itself to offer corporate clients both (1) legal advice of licensed attorneys like that found in a traditional law firm, and (2) software, data analysis, and business process expertise offered at the high standards offered by law companies or alternative legal services providers.

The result: Elevate Services offers its corporate clients at-scale responses to skyrocketing legal and regulatory demands at lower cost, greater speed, and greater accuracy than a traditional law firm can offer. Continue reading

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The Point

    1. Corporate law functions perennially experience chronic shortfalls between the capabilities they have and the capabilities they need. Absent an unlimited budget that can simply add lawyers in response to each new legal and regulatory demand, Legal must increase its compliance capabilities at-scale just to keep up.
    2. In a recent series (Parts I, II, III, and IV) I explained that process-based systems are necessary to achieve such at-scale increases in Legal’s compliance capabilities. Again, just adding lawyers is not sustainable.
    3. But the legal profession’s still-dominant billable hour business model impedes Legal’s adoption of the modern automated systems needed to scale Legal’s capabilities.

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The Point

My posts of February 16, 2022 and February 19, 2022 quoted Microsoft’s Jason Barnwell on how to allocate — or “segment” — law function resources:

First Class: “There will always be a slice at the top that is premium work, and it’s always going to make sense to go to the law firms for that.”

Economy Class: “We need to get lawyers out of the middle of stuff when it’s a low-value thing.”

In-between: “Success for me is not getting limousine service for every task and need that Microsoft has.”

Sound advice from Mr. Barnwell. But unlikely to work without the right incentives. Continue reading

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