February 11, 2019 | Written By Timothy Parlatore
The benefits of the cloud-based law firm model should not be limited to Biglaw lateral transfers. Parlatore Law Group’s hiring philosophy differs from that of existing cloud-based firms, many of whom prioritize or mandate strictly recruiting Am Law 200 alumni. Instead of subscribing to rigid pedigree requirements, Parlatore Law Group prioritizes proven success and the right mindset over academic background. Many of the best lawyers in the country did not graduate from Ivy League law schools or begin their careers at the largest firms. While those resume points establish a valuable benchmark, we believe clients place more value on successful and efficient results. Many of the most effective lawyers built successful track records working in smaller or solo firms, where they mastered handling every aspect of client matters rather than being one small cog in the Biglaw machine.
But why would an attorney want to leave their small firm to join Parlatore Law Group? Why would a solo consider closing their practice, where they control all aspects of the business and keep all of the profits? These are questions I faced when deciding to close my solo practice in 2015, to join a cloud-based firm. I soon confirmed all the reasons why I swear never to look back from the cloud. The biggest benefit cloud-based law firms offer former small/solo lawyers is a tremendous boost to infrastructure. As a result, attorneys receive improved administrative support and marketing, as well as a significantly enhanced range of legal capabilities, which helps each partner maximize their own originations, as well as their personal billable workload.
Being part of a larger organization with such a technologically advanced system allows our partners to be free from the administrative aspects of running a law firm, so they can focus on developing client relationships and practicing law, while still keeping the lion’s share of what they bill. Parlatore Law Group employs a secure platform that includes a document management system with an integrated practice management software that simplifies the handling of client files, deadlines, and billing. An online portal provides clients with a seamless way to securely upload documents directly to their files and to view and pay bills online. For solo and small firm attorneys, the dramatically increased efficiencies make Parlatore Law Group a much more profitable and enjoyable business model, even when accounting for just an attorney’s existing revenue. With the addition of each new partner, the firm’s scope of practice areas will become more comprehensive, which will create more opportunities for partners to generate revenue.
Small and solo firms, by definition, provide expertise in a limited number of practice areas. As a result, clients with wide ranging legal needs must hire multiple smaller firms or a single larger firm, where they will pay significantly higher rates. However, Parlatore Law Group gives clients the best of both worlds, as all of their legal needs are overseen by the attorney with whom they have established a strong trusting relationship. That trusted attorney can add other partners to the team by matchingthe client’s needs with the expertise of the partners, but with the cloud-based model, clients do not pay astronomical rates to have all of their needs met by a single firm. When I was a solo, I built very strong relationships with my clients after having helped them through some of the most challenging experiences of their lives. Because of that strong trust, many clients asked me to oversee and advise on all their legal needs, most of which fell outside my areas of expertise. Back then, I had no choice but to decline the business and offer them outside referrals. As a partner at a cloud-based firm, I was able to keep all referrals within the firm.
Parlatore Law Group’s compensation structure recognizes that attorneys who originate clients to the firm provide significant additional value well beyond their own practice areas through communication and coordination of all efforts on behalf of those clients. For this reason, Parlatore Law Group uses a sliding scale for origination and client management compensation, whereas the solo must forego all the revenue from referring the client to another firm. Being a member of a cloud-based firm boosts opportunities for attorneys to acquireadditional work by helping to service their partners’ clients, thus, a rising tide lifts all boats.
This brings us to one of the final, significant benefits for a small or solo lawyer to join Parlatore Law Group. You will be part of a team of like minded and motivated attorneys. Because partners are not co-located in a physical office, some cloud-based firms tend to become a network of islands. Parlatore Law Group believes strongly in fostering teamwork and esprit de corps so that the term “partner” is more than just a corporate title; it is how you feel about the people you work with.
Written By: Timothy Parlatore
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