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Rise of the 'Out-House' Attorney

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

A Litigator, In-House Attorney, and Outside Counsel sat in a cafe, arguing over which attorney offers the most value to their client.

"I do!" the Litigator professed confidently; the full measure of his advocacy experience on display. "I make my clients biggest problems my own. I lose sleep so that they don't have to."

"That's nice" the In-House Attorney answered politely, "But you don't have the intimate knowledge of your clients' business that comes from working with them shoulder-to-shoulder; day-in, day-out. My clients also know that they can trust my counsel, because I have fiduciary obligations that require me to put their best ethical interests ahead of any executive, board, or self-interest."

"Pfft" scoffed the Outside Counsel. "We all have those obligations! But what neither of you have is scale-able costs." She raised a pointed finger at the Litigator, cutting off his objection. "You" she began, "Your costs aren't truly 'scale-able'. Sure, your fees are hourly, but they're so many and so vaulted. Half the time your fees exceed the value of the dispute!" She turned to address the In-House, "As for you, you burden your only client with a considerable, non-billable, full-time salary, and that's before we even consider your benefits!"

Thus, the conversation continued without any of the attorneys coming to agreement. (After all, they're attorneys - arguing is what they do!)

The three attorneys continued to meet regularly at the cafe for a considerable time. Never coming to an agreement; their clients never knowing truly-balanced value.

After being left to their own company for so long, the three attorneys were stunned to a rare silence when at last a stranger pulled up a chair and joined the conversation.

"I have listened to your argument for some time" began the Stranger. "Suffice to say, I am unconvinced. I believe I offer the greatest value."

The Stranger looked to the Litigator. "Like you, I make my clients' biggest problems my own. Unlike you, my fees are modest, and I am not incentivized to draw out disputes." The Litigator shrank and took a sullen sip from his beverage.

"Like you" the Stranger addressed the In-House Attorney, "I have intimate knowledge of my clients. I share ongoing partnerships with them, learning their business inside and out, counseling the C-Suite, and meaningfully engaging in the strategic process. Together, we mitigate risks, intentionally curate corporate culture, resolve disputes, and carefully navigate the path to growth and success. Unlike you, I do not attract a year-round salary or employee benefits." The In-House was visibly rattled. "Worry not, my friend" the Stranger continued warmly, "I am not necessarily here to replace you. In many cases, we work in tandem. I often work as an extension of everything you offer, helping to alleviate your overflow, and taking on the specialized tasks that lie beyond your capacity."

"And you," the Stranger turned to the Outside Counsel. "Like you, I offer flexibility and truly scale-able costs. My clients can choose to pay hourly for my time, fixed fees for specific projects, or pay a monthly subscription for unlimited, on-demand support. Unlike you, my fees do not require any markup to line partners' pockets. My time is my own."

The three attorneys shared bewildered glances. The In-House Attorney and Outside Counsel looked hopefully to the Litigator, praying he delivered a usually-unwelcome objection. Without a counterargument, the Litigator shrugged in reply, and looked curiously at the Stranger.

"My friend, who are you?"

The Stranger smiled. "I" he began, offering an outstretched hand, "I am the Out-House Attorney."

Out-House Attorneys provides the same services you expect from your In-House legal team or Outside Counsel - but at a fraction of the cost. With corporate executive, litigation, and general counsel experience, we offer affordable, full-spectrum, and on-demand legal services.

Visit to learn more and meet your new partners in law.

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