Whether you’ve worked your way up the ladder or find yourself somewhere in the middle, life at Biglaw leaves much to be desired. More and more, forward thinking Biglaw alumni find themselves drawn to cloud-based law firms for a better lifestyle and way to practice, as well as a plan for the future.
If Amazon’s disruption of the book publishing industry through technological innovation is an indication of how cloud-based technology could revolutionize the legal industry, the implications for traditional brick and mortar law firms is something to take into serious consideration.
Two centuries ago, the “Cravath System” revolutionized how law firms were organized and operated and established the foundation upon which present day Biglaw was built. Known for their large, expensive offices with a matching support staff and cadre of inexperienced but well-paid associates, the result is a “law firm centric” system, where every action is calculated to maximize the profit for the firm, after covering its bloated overhead. Billable hour quotas rise, as do the hourly rates, leaving many Biglaw inhabitants to realize they have become slaves to the billing timeclock while missing out on both the joy of practicing law, as well as a quality family life. While brilliant and ground breaking for its time, the Biglaw business model as we know it, like many revolutionary concepts from the 19th century, cannot keep up with the times.
The concept of cloud-based law firms was originally developed by Biglaw alumni to compete directly with Biglaw by providing a first-class, advanced platform that makes more sense for both clients and attorneys. To a significant degree the model has been successful, since partners making the jump from Biglaw to cloud-based law firms immediately see a dramatic improvement in both their quality of life and compensation. The external pressures to meet “law firm centric” revenue-based requirements disappear, allowing lawyers to be focused on practicing law. Incredibly, this freedom to focus primarily on clients rather than revenue is also coupled with increased compensation because a cloud-based partner keeps a much larger percentage of the revenue they generate. Consider that at a traditional law firm, partners are lucky to take home 30% of the revenue they generate, whereas at most existing cloud-based firms, they can take home over 70%. At Parlatore Law Group, we take this a little further, as our compensation structure employs a sliding scale that allows partners to take home well over 80% of revenue that they generate.
Beyond the obvious benefits of increased compensation and quality of life, the cloud-based model also provides motivated partners with a superior product to offer potential clients – top quality legal services at a much more competitive price point. In a saturated legal services market, this powerful differentiator from Biglaw’s traditional brick and mortar business model makes for an incredible competitive advantage and invaluable selling point, even for matters outside of a partner’s specific practice area. Parlatore Law Group’s compensation structure encourages its partners to develop clients who require a broader range of legal needs, so that the partner can then build a team with other firm partners for working collaboratively to satisfy those needs.
Once the decision has been made to leave Biglaw for a better life at a cloud-based practice, there are a few options, depending on your individual needs. While many cloud-based firms prioritize working for existing, larger corporate clients, Parlatore Law Group may be the perfect choice if you have a passion for helping businesses grow and succeed. Our business acceptance policy is much more friendly to individual clients, startups and small to mid-size businesses, rather than focusing on only representing Fortune 500 companies.
Beyond our business strategy, Parlatore Law Group also distinguishes itself through its culture, which focuses on promoting teamwork. In addition to regular social get-togethers and happy hours for partners in various geographic regions, the firm hosts an annual retreat to bring all partners together nationwide for a few days of fun. Unlike other firms, these retreats are not all-day “death by PowerPoint” marathons, but rather are organized and run by non-lawyers who specialize in team building.
Over the past few years, I have spoken with many Biglaw alumni who have made the switch to cloud-based firms. While they all enjoy the increased compensation, their eyes truly light up when speaking of the transformative impact their move has had on their mental health and quality of life. If you are tired of the Biglaw grind and want to upgrade your practice and quality of life, come on over to the cloud. Life is better here.
Written By: Timothy Parlatore