shutterstock_1456360541-300x175

The Point

Last Friday, Bloomberg Law reported survey findings supporting the same conclusion I reached in a post two weeks ago:

“While these results indicate that most respondents are using ALSPs [“alternative legal services providers”, or “law companies”], it’s interesting that they’re being used for a relatively small proportion of an organization’s workflow, despite the specialized services and cost-saving potential ALSPs offer.” Continue reading

pexels-athena-2582937-1-200x300

The Point

Law.com Radar” is a dry-sounding technology and services combination that could help your company dodge bullets in its litigation exposure.

It combines court data, algorithms, and human expertise to give attorneys a fact-based heads-up to management about how their client companies are likely to be treated in court. Continue reading

shutterstock_1456360541-300x175

The Point

Too often, in-house law departments and law firms use licensed lawyers (Category #1 below) to perform routine, recurring tasks that an alternative legal services provider (ALSP) or law company (Category #2 below) could do more cheaply, faster, and with higher accuracy.

CFOs and others in the C-suite should take a hard look at using ALSPs and law companies for routine, recurring legal tasks. Because in-house law departments and law firms, for the most part, are not doing so. Continue reading

pexels-athena-2582937-200x300

The Point

The last few years witnessed headlines announcing a legal technology investment boom (here, here, and here).

But — for all the publicity on the investor side — actual technology adoption among law firms remains slow.

This Matters to Your Business

A survey of 560 law firm attorneys taken in May 2022 for Dashboard Legal asked them: “Are you satisfied with the technology at your firm?”

Only 37% answered “yes”. Continue reading

shutterstock_1456360541-300x175

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.

Continue reading

shutterstock_1456360541-300x175

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

shutterstock_1456360541-300x175

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.

Continue reading

iStock-1158033379-300x200

The Point

1. Regulations are technical: thousands of pages filled with minutiae.

2. Regulations are human: the minutiae is enforced by people — people who have their own personal traits, good and bad.

3. Regulatory compliance is often as much about the personal traits of those who enforce the rules as it is about the rules’ specific terms. Continue reading

shutterstock_650552203-300x169

Who Should Do What on Legal and Regulatory Risk?

The enterprise needs compliance systems and processes that provide early warning of legal and regulatory dangers, that trigger timely actions against those dangers, and that, ultimately, can prevent them from mutating into something worse. Those systems and processes should report up to the CEO, COO, or CFO (or some other senior executive who possesses proven management capability), not to a general counsel or other practicing lawyer who lacks proven management capability.

One lesson of the Boeing 737 Max crashes, General Motors ignition switch tragedy, Blue Bell Creameries listeria outbreak, and dozens of similar compliance misses (see Part II of this IV-part series): in each case the C-suite was blindsided by a devastating legal or regulatory surprise, and Legal was excused from accountability for that surprise by an “ignorance defense” (Part III).

The corporate law function is disinclined to manage the sorts of systems and processes that offer a reasonable chance of nipping such incipient dangers in the bud. So business executives need to be put in charge of this management task by having Legal report directly to one of them. General counsels and other practicing lawyers should be called upon to support legal and regulatory compliance aspects of that task by providing advice as subject matter experts. Continue reading

shutterstock_792858733-1-300x200

The Point

Business analyses — and decisions to which they can lead — are no better than the data on which they are based.

Part I of this two-part series considers the tiny minority of legal matters priced to client companies on a basis other than attorney hours (a reported 16.8%), and then asks if more resolute negotiation by the corporate law function might wean outside counsel from hourly billing. LexisNexis / CounselLink, source of the 2021 report and that 16.8% number, is a superlative provider of data concerning legal services delivery.

But data about legal services delivery are usually of less precision and less transparency than, for instance, data on which audited financials are based. In particular, two flaws in the empirical findings behind the “16.8%” figure limit that report’s utility for understanding the true extent of AFA’s in U.S. legal practice. Continue reading

Contact Information