‘Law Company’ – Definition
Elevate has begun to refer to itself as a ‘law company’, rather than an ALSP (i.e. an Alternative Legal Services Provider). John Croft, President and Co-Founder of the company, told Artificial Lawyer how he defines law company.
‘We see a law company as any organisation that provides legal services (flexible lawyering, legal tech, legal consulting, Big Four, LPO, etc.) that is not a traditional law firm partnership.
The idea that we are an ‘alternative’ provider of legal services seems to me to imply that there is one ‘proper’ way of providing legal services (i.e. going to a traditional law firm) and any other way is ‘alternative’ (i.e. wrong/new/risky!).
As far as I am concerned, Elevate provides legal services and so do law firms, such as Slaughter and May.
We might provide different legal services, or we might deliver the same legal services in different ways (or we may deliver exactly the same legal services in exactly the same ways!), but we both provide legal services.
So, I no longer see us as ‘alternative’. I think the only difference between the two is that they are a law firm and we are a law company.
I fully understand that things like LPOs, flexible lawyering and legal technology did not exist more than ten years ago (so they are relatively new, compared to the law firms who have been doing the same work in the same way for decades).
But, as we grow, as the Big Four enter the law company space, as law firms build their own captives in India and Belfast, as everyone is starting to use legal tech somehow or other, as firms are following our lead in providing flexible lawyering services to their clients, we feel that the way in which corporate law departments buy legal services is changing – and today, instead of just having law firms to buy from, they now also have a wide array of law companies to buy from.
Both are good. Both work. Just pick the right tool for the right job.’
So, there you go. What do you think? Should we scrap the use of the term ALSP?
Personally I would skip the “alternative” part of ALSP and keep it with LSP which is much clearer than something like Law Company. But I think this more an Elevate branding challenge than a real issue for corporate who are buying legal services