Hybrid Law

Here’s a phrase I was a little surprised to see in a recent Bloomberg News article: “Law firms have little track record of successful software development….”

Could this be because they’re law firms? There’s nothing that implies tech support in the name “law firm.”

I have, of course, noted that many law firms these days are branching out and becoming unexpected business hybrids. There’s a lot of interesting synergy to be had out there although I wonder whether some hybrids make sense.

The news story, for example, was about the firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati selling software that manages the finances of startups to the financial services firm Morgan Stanley. Does this sound like a good idea?

Law firms generate boilerplate and dense documents guaranteed not to be read by anyone who hopes to retain sanity. Software is supposed to simplify and automate stuff. How could this work?

And how do legal ethics apply? If the software glitches and misplaces financing, do you call tech support or a legal malpractice lawyer? Can a program be disbarred?

Must the firm’s coders have bar memberships? Must the firm’s lawyers have engineering degrees?

We will be seeing these questions in litigation. They’ll probably be decided by AI judges.

Still, I do appreciate law firm creativity. So I have a challenge for you. Below is a list of law firm names. I’ve seen many of them on recent Los Angeles lawsuits. Try to guess which ones are real and which ones I made up:

The Law Man Group
Rest Your Case
Starpoint
Quill & Arrow
Action Lawyers
Affordable Advocates
Viking Law Firm
Lawgix Lawyers
The Lion’s Law Office
Elite Law Firm
The Lawyers Group, Inc.
Uplift Law
Policyholder Pros, LLP
The Legal Malpractice Firm

Naming: With Arizona perhaps starting a trend of allowing hybrid law/non-lawyer firms, the benefits of clever, client-attracting firm names become even more obvious. I have a few suggestions:

Burgers & Lies (Fast food, fast advice, and complimentary antacids. Perfect for politicians justifying riots.)

Lawyers with Numbers. (Accountants attend all meetings to help stressed, sleep-deprived clients doze off while listening to them.)

Tax and Wax. (Clients, whether they win or lose, are presented with life-sized sculptures capturing the essence of their disputes. Alternatively, this firm could provide financial planning and a free car wash.)

Live Nude Lawyers. (You’ll attract clients who don’t even have legal problems. I’m thinking neon for the outside of the office.)

Dress and Redress. (Just because your client is in trouble doesn’t mean he or she can’t be fashionable. They can discuss their problems while trying on frocks.)

Law Yes And (A troupe of lawyers who create arguments based on suggestions from clients. Clients participate in workshops designed to develop their spontaneity and demonstrate how their disputes could play out. Songs are encouraged.)

Boxers and Briefs. (Clients are offered the option of legal representation or martial arts training to resolve disputes.)

Bar & Grill (Clients get hungry. You can serve all their needs.)

The All-Purpose Squad. (All attorneys wear tights and capes.)

Vengeance Is Mine. (This firm specializes in angry clients. Attorneys must look frightening.)

Darth Lawyer. (Paternity law, of course.)

Cheers. (Everybody knows the clients’ names.)

Feel free to use any of the above.

The answer to the quiz above: All of them are real. I applaud the legal profession.

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