|It’s not a secret that legal counsel can be expensive, and for start-up businesses that don’t have the extra cash flow, the need for it can be a daunting expense. Thankfully, larger law firms have started to offer free documents for start-ups, and a growing pool of freelance lawyers is emerging.
According to Tech Crunch, law firms do still charge start-ups for the work that they do for them, but at different rates than the typical billable hour system. This is usually done with discounts and deferred or capped fees.
Law firms also offer free documents for start-ups online, which seems strange since they won’t make any money from them; however, the idea is that legal documents can be confusing and the free document access begins to develop a relationship between the start-up and the law firm. This makes it much more likely for the start-up to ask the law firm questions and hire their services later on.
There are a number of different online platforms these days that provide online copies of common legal documents that start-up businesses need.
Another way that start-ups are saving money on their legal counsel is hiring freelance lawyers.
According to the American Bar Association, 74% of lawyers were in private practices in 2000. Since then, a major portion of the American workforce is shifting to independent or freelance work — and the legal realm is no exception. As of September 2014, there were over 53 million freelancers in the United States, according to Freelancer’s Union.
Though the free documents online may push start-ups to call the law firm providing them, there’s no reason that they cannot ask a freelance lawyer for advice instead. This way start-ups can get the best of both worlds — without having to break the bank.