Outsourced Fractional GC services are not all the same. As with any other service providers, you want to make sure you are getting the best fractional outsourced general counsel services available. As with any other services, there are all kinds of fractional general counsel legal services out there. Some outsourced inside-counsel is nothing more than traditional law firm legal services repackaged just for marketing purposes. So you will pay the same high billing rates, you will not know who is doing your actual legal work like writing contracts, and you will not have a single dedicated general counsel doing your work and who knows your business well and understands the subtle details. If you look for outsourced fractional general counsel (GC) services, you can be confident that you are getting the best:
A Dedicated In-House Fractional GC Lawyer Who Does All Your Work. You need to make sure there’s no disconnect between the “rainmaker,” the business development lawyer who gets your company in the door, and the lawyer who is doing your actual legal work. There should be no miscommunications because you’re speaking with an attorney who isn’t doing your work and not speaking to the attorney who is. If who you see and talk to is who you get to do your work, you can be sure that there’s no broken telephone line: That lawyer will understand what you need and will be dedicated to serving your business’s legal needs. So you should be told right away: Lawyer X is your dedicated lawyer who will communicate with you and do all of your work. Period.
A Fixed Monthly Fee That Covers Up to a Certain Number of Hours – With Wiggle Room. One of the problems with traditional law firms is they work on the billable hours model. That means that the lawyers have to keep track of every one-tenth of an hour, otherwise known as every 6 minutes of their time. That means they are more focused on the billable hours they need to generate than the actual client service. Also, it’s too unpredictable for a small business on a budget to deal with unknown legal bills each month. With a monthly fixed retainer, you always know how much your business will be paying for its business legal services. And the lawyer can focus on working efficiently and creatively rather than trying to pump up levels of billable hours. So your interest and the lawyer’s interest are aligned. But in addition, your fractional in-house GC should not nickel-and-dime you: If the number of hours increases for a given month, your monthly legal fees shouldn’t increase. Because it comes out in the wash: One month a little more, another month a little less, and the average comes out approximately correct. That’s a healthy business legal services relationship for the long-term.
The Low Billing Rates and Easy Communication Methods of Remote Lawyering. You can’t deal with a lawyer that requires you to commute to gleaming law firm offices. That means paying higher legal fees and wastes your time. Instead, you need a lawyer who cuts out the overhead and the commuting in favor of giving you great services. Of course, it helps if your outsourced fractional general counsel services platform is well built and easy to use, and that will also save time and headache.
If you keep in mind those easy three pointers, there’s a good chance that your small- to medium-sized business will receive the best outsourced fractional GC services it deserves.