Legal Subscription Services: Big Waste or Big Value?

Legal Subscription Services: Big Waste or Big Value?

hiring a lawyer by subscription for legal issues

Traditionally, lawyers have charged businesses by the hour for services. As I’ve spent time with entrepreneurs and startups founders, I find that these traditional fee arrangements don’t meet their needs that a subscription model does. Think about Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple Music, and other subscription services which have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Then, think about a new model for lawyers; subscription legal services.

A study by McKinsey & Co. revealed the subscription e-commerce market grew by more than 100% each year for the last five years. The legal industry is moving in the same direction. As we head into 2020, you can expect to see more availability and demand for subscription-based legal services. This blog post provides a little more information about subscription legal services. By the end, you may believe it is a necessity for your startup or small businesses.

What are Legal Subscription Services?

“Legal subscription services” are an alternative fee arrangement where a client pays a flat monthly (or yearly) fee for a certain set of legal services. Sometimes these fee arrangements are referred to as keeping a “lawyer on retainer.” This provides clients with the flexibility to contact their attorney as needed during that time, instead of being billed by the hour. You have probably used a subscription model for other items like a gym membership or mobile application.

Subscription legal services work similarly. You might find some parameters on phone calls, documents, or specific topics, especially when using a legal service subscription. However, generally, once you pay your monthly or yearly fee, you have whatever access you need.

Subscription Legal Services; Benefits Businesses

If you are starting a new business or operating an existing business, you can benefit from subscription legal services in several ways. These benefits include:  

Reducing Economic Uncertainty

Traditional hourly billing may lack transparency, especially with larger firms. You aren’t quite sure what services are included in your bill, and additional costs for documents or expenses aren’t always clear. As a business, you need as much economic certainty as possible while you try to grow. When you pay monthly subscription fees for your legal services, you know exactly what you are paying for. This makes it easier to budget all the expenses of running a business.

Meeting Your Needs

Sometimes, you may not know exactly what you need and/or want, and you’ll find some lawyers pushing things that may not be necessary. The lawyer by subscription services is more client-focused. You can expect your business lawyer to focus on your specific needs, instead of offering the services they think you need.

Many firms do not offer a specific subscription for startups nor do they offer flat fee startup packages. These services could include helping clients establish their legal entity and preparing internal corporate documents.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

As you start your business, you might have considered avoiding legal fees altogether and going at it alone. This might seem like cost savings, but in fact, it can hurt you more in the long run. Lawyer by subscription allows you to get the guidance you need without breaking the bank. In most cases, you will find monthly or yearly fees affordable. When you choose to subscribe, you could potentially save yourself a lot of money in costly mistakes.

Are Subscription Legal Services a Necessity?

For businesses looking to have a fixed cost for outside counsel services, a legal subscription might be a necessity. For more information about subscription services, contact us today, and check out our Outside Counsel Subscription Services!

Adam Blaier, Esq.