Last summer, we posted about UpCounsel, a relatively new online service that matches up small companies with attorneys for short-term projects, creating a bit of a revolution in the way companies find affordable legal services. Business owners can post free job listings on the UpCounsel website, and attorneys who have been registered, and screened, are able to bid on the projects. Then, based on attorney profiles, ratings, rates, and reviews, business owners are able to select an attorney for pending projects.
Last week, UpCounsel announced that it has added a new feature to its list of offerings: Outside General Counsel. Responding to customer feedback seeking long-term relationships with attorneys, UpCounsel now is in the business of pairing companies with prospective outside general counsel, who "know their companies and [are] true legal advisors."
For the Outside General Counsel Program, UpCounsel selected attorneys from top law firms with at least 13-years' experience, and who had previously served as outside general counsel to both small, and large, companies. By trying to find the right match, UpCounsel interviews the companies to understand their legal needs, and then tries to find "attorneys who understand their business and have the correct skill sets to support them," reports TechCrunch.
Added Features & Cost Savings
To provide assistance to outside general counsel, and a better user experience for clients, UpCounsel also now provides paralegal services. And like the attorney matching services they provide, companies also receive paralegal services at a fraction of BigLaw cost.
In less than one week, seven tech-startups in New York and San Francisco made the leap from BigLaw to UpCounsel's Outside General Counsel Program. So, do you think offering your services on UpCounsel is for you? It depends.
Are you looking for a career change? Do you have the requisite minimum 13 years' experience? If you are already in-house counsel, then presumably you have experience advising companies, and being a member of a long-term legal team. If you're tired of the corporate day-to-day and are looking to branch out on your own, and work on your own terms, this may be a career option for you.
Not For Everyone
While UpCounsel's Outside General Counsel Program may seem like a worthwhile opportunity, it's not for everyone. Essentially, you would be working on your own, so if the idea of running your own business is scary to you, then a more traditional in-house attorney position is the better option for you. It really all depends on the kind of work experience, and environment, which will make you most comfortable and productive. Because, at the end of the day, it all comes down to providing excellent service.