Why I Founded The Calkins Law Firm

June 26, 2016

I’ve been reflecting…

I founded The Calkins Law Firm on May 1, 2015.


One motivating factor was that three established law firms had literally collapsed under me, which interfered both with my practice and my provision of legal services for my clients.

And after years in the legal profession – working typically as a partner in established old model law firms – I had also grown very tired of the old law firm model.

The old-law firm model is:

  • A model which saddles attorneys and their clients with (unnecessarily) high overheads and high hourly rates (to some extent necessitated by the high overheads).
  • A model which mandates that attorneys bill a high number of hours to clients, regardless of whether the clients’ work requires that so much time to be devoted to their matters (a concept once explained to me by a senior partner as “filling the available time”).
  • A model which encourages “over-lawyering,” or the senior attorney assigning multiple attorneys (and multiple hourly rates) to client projects regardless of whether the work might be most efficiently and cost effectively performed by a single attorney.
  • A model which discourages senior “rainmaking” attorneys from being hands-on in the provision of service to their clients, but which instead encourages those senior attorneys to pass the work off to other attorneys who lack a relationship with, or understanding of, the client.
  • A model which pays starting attorneys with little or no Real World Experience a relatively high starting salary, and then expects clients to underwrite those salaries (which add no value for the client).
  • A model where I observed senior attorneys at a prior firm literally holding clients hostage immediately pre-closing, making them pay fees that were far in excess of what the clients had anticipated or expected, or the transactions would not close.

So, I launched the Calkins Law Firm both because I had three law firms collapse under me. And this, it seems, is because the model I had tolerated for so long is a failed model.

I was convinced that there had to be a better way. And after one year, I still believe that there absolutely is in fact a better way.

So, what do we do differently at The Calkins Law Firm? And why should clients care?

  • We specialize in business matters (business transactions and commercial dispute resolution and litigation).
  • We staff exclusively with top-flight and well-seasoned attorneys, typically with 20 to 30 years or more of relevant experience. Our attorneys have all been there and done that.
  • We have lower overhead and lower rates. Wherever possible, we work on a fixed fee agreed upon in advance.
  • We encourage a hands-on approach which results in great efficiency and greater responsiveness and communication.

In these and other respects, The Calkins Law Firm represents a new model of law firm.

I planned and launched it in response to the old broken model, its failings, and most importantly, the clients’ disappointment with it.

We invite you to try us and experience the difference.

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