How Entrepreneurs Can Save on Legal Bills

VentureBeat has a terrific article up today on how entrepreneurs are saving tens of thousands on legal bills. Their suggestions:

  • Use smaller firms, solo practitioners, and virtual services;
  • get it done right the first time; and
  • take care of legal stuff sooner than later.

All very good suggestions. I suppose it is self-serving, but using solo practitioners like myself that have big firm experience in corporate, venture capital and M&A matters is a great way to save money over big firm rates. But it is also a great way to get personal service. Startups are small fish at large firms, but for many small firm lawyers, building up startups is the core of their business.

Big firm lawyers need to bill between 2000 and 2500 hours a year. In other words, they bill ALL of their time. They need to do that to cover expensive overhead… fancy offices, conference rooms, assistants, expensive lunches for summer associates. Solo business attorneys not only have lower rates, but they also don’t bill as many hours.

Most independent business attorneys spend a lot of time learning their client’s business and performing un-billed work for them. Working with startups in particular means writing off a lot of time in order to help the startup get through to revenues/funding. It’s an investment in our clients’ future!