UpCounsel provides yet another disruptive model for delivering legal services. Essentially it is a win-win for both small businesses and for solo lawyers. Investors, voting with their funding, indicate they like it.
In TechCrunch, Christine Magee reports:
"UpCounsel, a marketplace for legal services, has pulled in $10 million in new funding to provide small businesses with attorneys at a fraction of the cost of a big law firm. Menlo Ventures led the Series A round, with participation from previous investors Homebrew and Metamorphic Ventures, which brings the company's funding total to $13.9 million."
The beauty of the UpCounsel model is that clients pay only about a third of what they would have been billed by a large law firm. That's because overhead and the partner pool have been cut out. However, attorneys providing the service earn approximately what they would have had they been employed by BigLaw. Many of the providers are solo lawyers.
The overhead costs vanish through the use of UpCounsel's free practice software. There is also no top heavy layer of partners. However, currently it is difficult for lawyers to be selected to be part of UpCounsel. Over 10,000 have applied, notes Magee. Only about 300 are aboard.