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Please Welcome Esuga Abaya to GrowthCounsel

It is our pleasure to announce that the incredibly talented Esuga Abaya, Esq. (formerly of DLA Piper) has joined GrowthCounsel as of January 1. We’ll leave the standard bio for the end, but we can’t tell you how excited we are to have Esuga join the team. He is not only an excellent lawyer but, more importantly, an incredible person who cares deeply about his clients and the people in his universe. In short, he immediately makes us a better firm. He also keeps our streak alive of hiring people who are smarter and more talented than the rest of us!  Read On

The Biggest Mistakes I Made Starting a Business

I hate generic startup “advice” articles.  No one needs to read another listicle on “Top 5 Legal Mistakes Startups Make” or “LLC vs. Corporations? A 36 part analysis of which is better for you.”

I’ve always found the war stories that eschew the theoretical for the real to be way more valuable.  There’s no greater (or harder) wisdom to share than that which has been earned via countless mistakes, missteps, and miscalculations.  Anyone who has been through the tumult of launching a business knows that experience is by far the best teacher. The most valuable lessons often come from growing pains, unexpected challenges, and hard truths.

There is nothing more admirable than the CEOs and founders that (whether in public or behind closed doors) dare to open their kimono and share the lessons they’ve learned the hard way.  To that end, I wanted to return the favor for all the incredible (and hard-earned) advice that I’ve received over the past decade.  If we’re being candid (and I hope we are), I probably made too many mistakes to count.  The handful of examples below are really just the tip of the iceberg, but they are the ones that resonate with me (or maybe just embarrass me) the most almost a decade later.

Without further ado, here are the Biggest Mistakes I Made When Launching Wertman Law: Read On

Please Welcome Kimon Hatza to GrowthCounsel

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Kimon Hatza to the GrowthCounsel family.    You can find his LinkedIn profile here.

During our early days at the Big Firm, we looked up to Kimon as a mentor, role model and all-around great human being.  Over a decade (and many battle scars) later, our respect and admiration for Kimon has only increased.  It goes without saying that we jumped at the opportunity to be in business with someone as talented and experienced as Kimon and we are still pinching ourselves a bit that we were able to talk him into joining us.  Read On

I Want To Murder The Billable Hour (Part 2)

A few months back, we wrote an introductory article discussing the downside of the billable hour.  You can find that here:

In the second installment, we get into the weeds of why fixed fees are better for the client.

Why Fixed Fees are Better for the Client

Let’s face it – if fixed fees didn’t solve an obvious problem inherent to the current billable hour standard then I wouldn’t invest time to write about it (and you certainly wouldn’t spend time reading about it).  A sustainable solution must work for both the client and the lawyer.  In this installment, we’ll focus on the benefits to the client – both the obvious and the (more compelling) non-obvious.

There are superficial reasons why fixed prices are better for the client.  By “superficial” I don’t mean unimportant.  I simply mean benefits that are obvious and can be easily identified by both parties (client and lawyer) during a specific transaction.  Nevertheless, like an iceberg, the most substantial portion of this new dynamic lies well beneath the surface. Read On

I Want to Murder the Billable Hour (Pt. 1)

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

When I started my career at a big law firm, something about the billable hour always felt off to me.  It’s almost as though it ran counter to every basic principle of economics and human psychology.   One late night after a week of filling up a timesheet with 80+ billable hours and being fueled almost exclusively by espresso and Chinese takeout, it hit me.

We weren’t really selling legal advice or effectiveness or talent or even expertise.  We were manufacturing and selling billable hours.  When viewed in the most favorable light, the billable hour is an arbitrary and illogical unit of production and performance with only a loose correlation to results or value.

The typical law firm only makes money by billing hours.  The 5 minutes of perfectly nuanced advice that saves a billion-dollar deal gets valued exactly the same as the 10 minutes that a first-year associate spends formatting font size on an internal checklist.  To borrow a legal turn of phrase, that seems pretty f!@%ed up. Read On