Below are my favorite posts on startup lawyers as a topic, law firm economics, and how founders should assess law firms/legal services for their own startups.
Summary Post: Checklist for choosing a Startup Lawyer.
Legal Technical Debt and Lies About Startup Legal Fees – 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, in many cases, unnecessary and inefficient.
Startups Need Specialist Lawyers and Flexibility in Choice of Counsel – 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.
The Problem with Chasing Whales – If, realistically, you’re not building a unicorn, then don’t use law firms that represent unicorns.
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.
Scaling Strategic Counsel and When a Startup Lawyer can’t scale – Why building and scaling a viable emerging technology law firm is so unusually difficult, and why solo lawyers are a poor fit for scaling companies.
Standardization v. Flexibility in Startup Law and Startup Law Pricing: Fixed v. Hourly – A mindset is emerging that all “startups” should follow the same path for corporate structure, financing, etc. While standardization carries many efficiencies, its constraints can dramatically hurt companies that aren’t cookie-cutter. Real counsel maintains flexibility, while taking advantage of appropriate standardization.