In the days of yore, when dinosaurs roamed the earth (or thereabouts), goodcounsel offered “fractional general counsel” services. The idea of providing part-time counsel to growing, entrepreneurial companies (like those for which I had previously worked) was sound, but offering it a certain number of days each month was, in retrospect, flawed. If the billable hour is a bad measure of value (which, as a rule, it is), the billable day is not necessarily much of an improvement.
We soon got quite busy with client work of various kinds (on a fixed-fee basis, of course), and the fractional general counsel services fell by the wayside.
Things have a funny way of coming full circle, though. Six years into our practice, we have re-launched our general counsel services, with a much-improved and more appealing model. We call it “Counsel-as-a-Service℠” and we are already providing this service to several of our clients.
Everyone is by now familiar with “SaaS,” or Software-as-a-Service. This service model, made possible largely by the advent of cloud computing, allows companies to buy software services on a monthly subscription basis, rather than buying or developing expensive software themselves. There’s also “PaaS,” or Platform-as-a-Service (the Google App engine, for example) and Amazon has led the way in “IaaS,” or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, with its cloud-based processing and storage platforms (EC2 and S3).
“Counsel-as-a-Service℠” was inspired by these technology models (and in fact, relies on some of them for our services delivery). Rather than hiring a full-time general counsel to oversee the legal function in your company (which likely does not need full-time counsel), you can now have goodcounsel’s experienced team mind the legal store for a set monthly fee. We’ll manage the legal side of things, from corporate filings that require attention once a year to issues that arise day-to-day, and a good deal of what transpires in between.
It just makes sense to us. Small companies don’t have massive legal needs, but they have regular ones that can be costly to neglect. Startups often make the calculation that they can ignore legal matters at the beginning, and just pay extra later to clean up any messes. In our experience, though, that tradeoff does not play out well. We have encountered messes that are quite costly to fix, and sometimes not fully fixable at all.
We are offering a better choice: quality, ongoing representation from the start, which can scale as your needs grow.
If you lead a growing company, we are excited to talk to you about how our Counsel-as-a-Service℠ platform could be the right way to manage your legal needs. Drop us a note.