Recently I was asked what sets us apart from other, typically old style, law firms and commercial litigation attorneys.
Here are a few clear distinctions:
1. We only staff client engagements with well educated, highly experienced and top-rated attorneys, often working single-handed.
Why does this matter?
Well, the old style firms are typically staffing matters with teams of attorneys, doubling and tripling the hourly fees, and are often staffing client matters with inexperienced yet high cost attorneys.
Keep in mind that our law schools teach students to think like lawyers but not how to practice law. Therefore, many attorneys spend the first ten or more years of their careers gaining sufficient real-world experience to be in a position to provide sound legal advice and counsel.
We avoid using these (high cost / low value) inexperienced attorneys and staff client matters typically with attorneys with 20-plus years of relevant experience.
2. We control overheads, largely through use of technology, and, by controlling overheads, we can charge dramatically lower hourly rates than old-style, high-overhead law firms.
Old-style law firms typically spend $150,000 or more per attorney per year on “overhead.” For an attorney billing 1500 hours per year, this works out to $100 per hour just for overhead. Having worked in the old style law firms I am not sure what that hefty overhead really buys that is of value to the clients.
Through the use of technology and by slashing bloated overheads and wasteful spending, we have dramatically lowered hourly rates.
3. All of this adds up to tremendous efficiencies from which the client ultimately benefits.
The combination of efficient staffing with well educated, top rated and highly experienced attorneys, often working solo, and dramatically lower overheads and hourly rates means that our real cost to clients is often dramatically less than what an old-style law firm charges
4. We are very service driven and highly accountable.
I launched CLF after being let down by attorneys I had hired, over and over again, and after watching attorneys with whom I worked at old-style law firms let down clients in one way or another over and over again. It got to the point where the typical lawyer jokes were no longer funny, or even mildly entertaining.
So our driving motivation and focus is accountability to our clients, exceptional service for our clients, open communication with our clients, and fair billing of our clients.
Its that simple.
Know that the joy of living is right inside of you. Live it. Believe in it.
~ Tao Porchon-Lynch, 98-year-old Yoga Instructor