Frequently Asked Questions
How does Legal Innovators ensure the quality of its junior legal talent?
Legal Innovators’ legal talent meets the standards for quality and the expectations of Big Law and corporate legal departments. Our founders structured our program based on their experience in the law and business. They know what law firms and their clients need, want, and expect from their service providers. The expertise of Chairman Jonathan Greenblatt is particularly relevant. Jon has been a partner in the multinational law firm Shearman and Sterling for over 30 years. CEO Bryan Parker worked at the same firm before leading public, private, and venture-backed companies over the last two decades in both strategy and executive leadership roles.
Our team designed our recruitment and interview process to understand each candidate’s personality and capabilities with the end goal of selecting only those who we know can thrive in both Big Law and corporate legal departments.
How do you recruit your junior legal talent?
We believe that today’s law firms are far too reliant on certain standard criteria, often based only on one year’s performance in law school. Summer associate programs don’t provide a meaningful opportunity to ascertain a legal professional’s future success. Traditional hiring methods exclude high-quality talent from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women and minorities.
Legal Innovators is approaching the recruitment and hiring of junior legal talent more holistically. We’ve designed our program to comprehensively evaluate our candidates’ capabilities after at least two full years of law school.
WE TAKE A MULTI-STEP APPROACH TO THE RECRUITMENT OF JUNIOR LEGAL TALENT:
‣ As is the case for many elite law firms and corporate legal departments, we recruit from high-quality law schools. We have partnerships with the placement offices of a variety of institutions including The Georgetown University Law Center, The George Washington University School of Law, and The Howard University School of Law.
‣ We build relationships with candidates so that we really get to know them — their personalities as well as their professional skills — before we make our hiring decisions.
‣ Candidates are interviewed on multiple occasions. This rigorous process includes standardized questions which are designed to identify the graduates who will become good lawyers. We speak with professional references and in some cases law school professors.
‣ We ask candidates to address an anonymized complex legal problem from an actual case to evaluate their analytical and writing skills.
We are confident that the legal professionals we hire will compete favorably with lawyers recruited through traditional summer associate programs.
Why do junior legal professionals join Legal Innovators? Are they on a partner track?
The junior legal professionals we hire join our program for a variety of reasons. Many candidates simply value the flexibility and real-world experience that we provide. For example, they are able to gain experience in one specific part of the law such as real estate, M&A, corporate, litigation, etc. before committing to that discipline over the long term.
In terms of the career path they envision for themselves, the legal professionals we place with law firms are very much on a partner track.
Others may prefer to start their careers with corporate legal departments and may or may not choose to transition to a law firm later in their career.
Either way, we strategically match our users with junior legal talent to meet their specific needs now and in the future.
What type of work will Legal Innovators’ junior legal professionals do?
They will perform the same type of work traditionally performed by junior associates in Big Law, including but not limited to researching and analyzing the law on complex issues, drafting memoranda and briefs, conducting discovery, performing corporate due diligence and drafting, and assisting with the closings of various transactions.
Law firms and corporate legal departments gain first-hand exposure to their professional capabilities before permanently hiring our junior legal talent.
How are Legal Innovators’ services priced?
We believe that the Big Law pricing model is broken. It overpays for a large percentage of incoming associates. Increasingly, clients resist the increased billing rates that result from high junior associate salaries. Law firm profitability and profitability per partner suffer as a result.
That’s why we designed our services to be more cost-effective for both law firms and corporate clients. Legal Innovators partners with the users of our services to establish pricing to meet their specific needs. Not only will users benefit from more affordable rates and flexible fee structures, we also believe the training and mentorship we employ will result in a highly engaged and skilled junior legal workforce, which will lead to quality output and a higher return on investment for our users.
What is the term for your services?
Our model works best on a one-year basis, with the ability to renew for a second year. We can work with users on a six-month basis, but the fees are higher for shorter term commitments due to the unpredictability in usage.
How will Legal Innovators ensure confidentiality?
Maintaining confidentiality is critical to Legal Innovator’s business model. We have engaged Zuckerman Spaeder, a highly regarded law firm in Washington, D.C. in the field of legal ethics, to advise on the procedures we must adopt to comply with this requirement.
From their first day with us, our junior legal professionals will be trained on the importance of confidentiality. Only the professionals contracted out to a user will have access to the user’s confidential information – whether electronic or hard copy.
We also adopted design best practices when we built our office space to insure a confidential work environment. Our workplace includes rooms to conduct telephone or video calls in private, as well as designated areas to review confidential documents. Access to our printers is also closely controlled. Our professionals may only access the documents that they print.
Our working environment, technology, and processes will help us ensure that client matters are treated with the utmost confidentiality.
Who will supervise their work?
We provide mentoring, career advice, and training to our junior legal professionals. Specific matter supervision will be provided by Legal Innovators’ users. Legal Innovators’ legal professionals will report directly to the person identified by our users as the supervisor of their work. In the event a particular user hires a sufficiently large team of our professionals, we may hire a senior attorney to provide a degree of senior matter supervision. To protect user confidentiality, our senior supervisor will be dedicated to a single user and will not supervise legal professionals contracted to any other user.
Where will your junior legal professionals be located?
This is entirely up to our customers. We provide attractive space for our legal professionals to work in and be trained. We consider our space to be our “home base.” It is not necessary for Legal Innovators’ professionals to work in our users’ offices, but they will be available and willing to do so as much as is required by our users.
Is Legal Innovators part of a law firm or another entity?
No, Legal Innovators is an independent company. It was founded by Jonathan Greenblatt based on his experience as a partner in a highly regarded multinational law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC, together with his business partner and Co-Founder Bryan Parker.