Contracts

Affordable Lawyers to Review Contracts San Francisco

Alison Lewis CEO/Creative Director

December 12th, 2013

We've got a great start-up lawyer, but can't afford their rates for some of our contract reviews and NDAs coming from partners. $450/hour isn't possible even with revenue at this time. 

Is there any agency or place we can get help or find affordable support through this wonderful but costly moment? 

Thank You. 
Alison 

reed hearon

December 12th, 2013

Hi Alison,
There are some great, free online resources for startups
try:
free: http://www.orrick.com/Practices/Emerging-Companies/Pages/Startup-Tool-Kit.aspx

pay, but much cheaper than a lawyer
https://www.clerky.com/

also: https://venturedocs.com/

Much of the work for a startup can be done yourself. Use a good lawyer, via email, to answer specific questions and when you need complicated contracts reviewed. Good luck!

Reed

Lona Duncan

December 12th, 2013

Same here Derek Yu.  $260/hr


Kym McNicholas TV Host, Tech Jounalist, Director of Extreme Tech Challenge, Host of KDOW Radio's NewFocus On Innovation

December 12th, 2013

Roger Royse... Royse law. Amazing! Sent from my iPhone

Robert H Lee

December 12th, 2013

I use Derek Yu for all my startup work, including inc, financing, and general stuff. He used to work at a big firm, and now charges a lot less on his own. Derek Yu http://www.corporateestatelaw.com/ Regards, Robert Lee Startup Consultant & Investor at SV Accelerator: SVaccel.com Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Stanford: codeX.stanford.edu ∩ of Technology & Adventure: facebook.com/HolokaiAdventure @goldspruce, linkedin.com/in/robertlee1 +1.510.427.2049 - California

Scott Milburn Entrepreneurial Senior Executive and Attorney

December 12th, 2013

Speaking as both a business person and a lawyer, I have some advice following up Rob's Gropper's comment.  Rob is correct that there ought to be a market for less expensive legal services, and I'd say that the majority of lawyers in this country are overpriced (they, of course, would never consider that to be true; they are worth $10/minute!). But...

Caution: Entrepreneurs - be careful about using recent law school graduates or solo practitioners with only a few years of experience. Law school teaches some basic legal principles, but mostly it teaches students how to think like a lawyer and how to research and learn about specific legal issues. It takes years of work in a specific practice area (securities, contracts, employment, etc.) for a lawyer to gain the expertise you want, so they can accurately advise you, answer questions, or review documents, without lots of research, along with a hope and a prayer they are correct.

Here is a sign. If a lawyer still writes numbers as "one hundred twenty (120)," find another lawyer. There is absolutely no legitimate reason to write numbers that way, except that it is the way lawyers have been writing numbers since about 1600 A.D, and it is the way lawyers are taught to write. It quickly demonstrates that they are too tradition bound for your business.


John Duffield

December 12th, 2013

Hi Alison,

Although not SF, Sam Herting is an extremely talented attorney and is focusing on the tech scene here in Silicon Beach Los Angeles. He offers free initial consultations and is extremely affordable - he caters to startups. He is more affordable than any rates posted here so far.

Check him out here: http://www.siliconbeachiplaw.com/contact/.

Let me know if you'd like an introduction, I know him very well and would be happy to perform a very warm introduction. 

John Duffield
johnjduffield@gmail.com.

Scott Milburn Entrepreneurial Senior Executive and Attorney

December 12th, 2013

Just to clarify, and not demean my current law partners, my comments about my "law partners" were from my former life in Big Law.

Anonymous

December 12th, 2013

Rob, I sort of agree with you, but the reality is that most if not all lawyers don't bill all their worked hours, unlike, say, IT consultants (who typically charge at much lower rates).

Don't ask me why, because I've argued with my wife quite a bit about it. It doesn't make sense to me to have  rates that can seem outrageous but then actually work twice or thrice as much as actually billed, but that's the reality for most lawyers. Of course, there are sometimes egregious abuses (such as Bromwich charging Apple $1,100/hr and over $138,000 for... 2 weeks of work cf. http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/12/02/apple-claims-court-appointed-e-book-monitor-is-ove ) but I don't think they're the rule. And I can tell you that my wife is far from doing $400K a year (I wouldn't be working as hard as I do if that was the case!) and yet she does work every single day.

Furthermore, among lawyers there is a strong sense of devaluing your own work and be considered unworthy if you charge too little.

And since there was a recent blog post about pricing for SaaS businesses, I should point out that us entrepreneurs usually do a pretty bad job at finding a good balance between value proposition and value perception (a distinction I recently learnt about at http://sixteenventures.com/how-to-price-your-saas-or-web-app-the-basics and http://sixteenventures.com/how-to-price-your-saas-or-web-app-advanced ). Maybe lawyers are better at that than we are? ;-)

Scott Milburn Entrepreneurial Senior Executive and Attorney

December 12th, 2013

Raphael Londner, I have to disagree about how "most lawyers" bill. I have had law partners who have billed: (1) more than 24 hours in a day, (2) .3 hours (18 minutes) for EVERY phone call or other brief interaction, meaning that three five-minute phone calls with three clients amounted to 54 minutes of billable time; and (3) bill time on an airplane to the client for whom they are flying while billing the same time to another client for whom they are doing work while sitting on the plane.

Your wife is very reasonable/generous!

Ed King Turn good ideas into great products

December 12th, 2013

Alison, Check out Karen Frame (LinkedIn: http://goo.gl/MMlZQ0) She is based out of Boulder and her rates are in the $200 range. One of my startup CEO friend used her for the first 2 years of his startup until they got big enough to have in-house council. She is especially good with contracts and NDAs. I interviewed her over the phone and liked her quite a bit. I intend to use her myself for upcoming contract work. Ed King Founder & CEO OPENPRISE Check out our latest blog: Third-party performance measurements for Cloud and API ed.king@openprisetech.com www.openprisetech.com @openprisetech Mobile: 408-829-2641