A couple of years ago, I had a unique opportunity fall in my lap. I was working for a law firm in Scottsdale, AZ that served many high-growth tech companies. One of the companies, Parchment Inc., a client I spent much of my time with, asked me to serve as their general counsel. While still working at the firm, I dug in with this one client as a part time in-house general counsel.
Despite continuing to work with dozens of other companies as part of a thriving legal practice, I loved the experience of working inside Parchment as a member of their team and partner in providing value. I got to know the executives, the operations, the team, the culture, and their inner workings. I learned how strategy and business risk intersect to guide decision-making. I learned how legal counsel plays a role in creating value inside an organization. I was more than a vendor, I felt like a true member of the team.
I spent approximately a year experiencing both types of legal practice, as a general counsel and doing traditional legal work for many clients. At the end of the year, I clearly saw two different models for providing legal services and the huge need for transparent, flexible, practical legal services on a flat-fee subscription model, as an outsourced general counsel for growth stage and middle market companies.
The most important thing I learned is that certain legal needs for this stage company were not suited to the traditional model of hiring a billable-hour attorney. It was an illuminating experience.
I wondered if working full time as general counsel was the right path for me, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that many companies at this level simply don’t need full time in-house counsel. They do, however, need more than the traditional hourly model. With me on board as an outsourced GC, they weren’t saddled by a fluctuating legal invoice every month. They were no longer passed between me and a paralegal, or other attorneys and firms, providing legal advice at rates that make even a $20M+ company choke and with no ability to budget. My client got my (almost) undivided attention, and the more time I spent with my client, and learned about their business, the more valuable I became to them.
I wondered, how many other companies had similar needs and were feeling the pain of the traditional legal model on day-to-day legal and risk management?
There are nearly 300,000 companies in the US that earn between $5M and $25M in revenue. These companies fall in many different categories, but have a lot in common when it comes to legal services. They’re spending tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands a year on legal bills. They all need counsel who can be part of their business and act as an advisor. They need representation that’s available as soon as they need help, not days later.
They all need counsel that operate inside their business, but they don’t need a full time GC. Understanding this, I had an aha moment.
The current legal industry isn’t built to serve businesses at this stage from an in-house general counsel perspective providing strategic guidance and implementing efficient processes. I decided to take a risk and build a new model for this demographic for general counsel legal services. One that focuses on intelligent consumption of legal services and provides the most value possible to these companies.
That’s how Nimbus Legal was born. Today, we help over a dozen companies in 3 states as general counsel, and are growing rapidly. If you’d like to learn more about Nimbus Legal, drop us a note with some information on your company and one of our outsourced GC’s will get back to you.
— Beth Lebowitz, CEO, Founder, and General Counsel