There are many ways start-ups, small businesses, and medium-sized businesses choose to fill their companies’ legal needs. There are traditional corporate law firms, with leather-bound law books, plush leather chairs, contemporary art collections, and chrome and marble offices. And of course the extremely high price tag associated with that kind of fancy overhead. That’s one option for those who like the bells and whistles to go with their actual legal work.
On the far end of the other spectrum, there are the no-frills and usually no-lawyer options. Sort of the do-it-yourselfer option. Law in a Box, Rocket Lawyer, and other similar services offer you forms that you can fill in. It’s cheap. But often you get what you pay for. It’s a little like practicing medicine or selling prescription drugs without any training.
A third alternative is that companies can choose to bring an attorney in-house as a traditional general counsel. The problem is, most smaller business’s for whom working capital is scarce cannot afford a full-time experienced business lawyer, and paying a high six-figure salary isn’t an option for many start-ups and smaller businesses.
Arguably, none of those three options serve start-ups, smaller and medium-sized companies for whom budgets matter. And in the current environment in which businesses face spiraling inflation and a slowing economy, price points matter, just as quality matters. Start-ups, smaller companies, and mid-size businesses are increasingly looking for a great deal.
That’s where a new third way comes in: in-house outside fractional general counsel services. The idea is that start-ups, small- and mid-size companies need experienced, quality, dedicated legal counsel, but they need that business legal counsel for a relatively lower number of hours per month and aren’t looking to pay exorbitant hourly fees for those services. Outsourced fractional general counsel services eliminate all of the expensive office accessories. With fractional GC services, there are no chrome or marble or plush upholstered partners’ sofas. But what there are, are experienced business lawyers who – when fractional general counsel services are at their best – are dedicated to serving a small number of businesses whom they know well. They do so for a low monthly fee, and instead of focusing on increasing billable hours, they focus on client service. That’s because the monthly retainers of fractional GC services don’t involve billing every 6 minutes of lawyers’ time, but rather cover up to whatever number of hours businesses actually will need. And if one month is a little more work, and another month is a little less work, then the monthly retainer on average covers those variations – and attorneys don’t need to spend time nickeling and diming their clients.
Finally, in the post-COVID-19 era, in-house outsourced fractional general counsel services take the best advantage of remote lawyering, lowering their overhead and passing on that savings to their clients. This offers start-ups, small businesses, and medium-sized companies the great deal they have been seeking and until now seldom receiving. And it’s all as convenient as the click of a button on a state-of-the-art online platform. The best fractional general counsel services do these things, and it’s a game-changer for start-ups, small businesses, and mid-size companies.