Below are my favorite posts on startup lawyering, law firm economics, and how founders should assess law firms/legal services for their own startups.
Legal Technical Debt and How Startups Burn Money on Lawyers – A lot of advice floating around startup ecosystems on how to “save” money on legal fees is given by people who don’t have a clue how startup law actually works; and it ends up costing founders a lot more in the long-run.
The Tech Law Ecosystem v. BigLaw; Except in Silicon Valley and When the A-Lawyers Break Free: BigLaw 2.0 – The Cloud and SaaS have rendered large “full service” law firms unnecessary and inefficient.
Startups Need Specialist Lawyers, But Not Big Firm “Lock In” – Founders should understand the importance of specialist lawyers, and why they shouldn’t let “generalists” do everything, but they should also understand why sourcing all of their specialist lawyers from one firm will lead to a lot of wasted money, and possibly costly mistakes.
How to Avoid “Captive” Company Counsel and Why Founders Don’t Trust Startup Lawyers – By overlooking conflicts of interest, and repeatedly representing both VCs and their portfolio companies, many startup lawyers have rendered themselves untrustworthy in the eyes of founders.
Lawyers are Slow, but Firms Shouldn’t Be – Having to wait days for lawyers to even respond to e-mails is unfortunately a common occurrence for startups. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Deflation of Startup Law Continues: Clerky – Fully automated quality early-stage startup legal documents, executed and stored in the cloud, at a 80-90% discount on even the most efficient lawyers. But there are tradeoffs.
Your Startup’s Legal Bill – The Printer & The Cartridge – Why low hourly rates can be misleading in hiring a startup lawyer.
Navigating Referrals in a Connected Startup Ecosystem – A lot of business-related referrals are unfortunately based more on background quid-pro-quo arrangements, instead of actual merit. Learning how to distinguish those from authentic referrals is important in a CEO’s development.