This page describes the kinds of working relationships I seek and my availability for new ones.
Generally speaking, I serve four kinds of clients as legal counsel: regular clients, project clients, consultation clients, standby clients, and pro bono clients. I also support some lawyer colleagues who need help with specific questions from time to time.
I am not taking new regular clients at this time.
Regular clients require substantial time each workweek, and sometimes each workday, many workdays in a row. Their needs can vary widely, month to month. Typically, regular clients see me as “inside-out counsel”, or outside counsel working as general counsel.
Regular clients pay a flat monthly fee for my services. The flat fee can be renegotiated anytime, but fee changes apply only to future months, never retroactively.
My regular clients pay a minimum of $6,000 (USD) per month.
I am available to take new project clients. E-mail me anytime.
Project clients hire me to help with specific legal projects or deals. When a project ends, the working relationship ends with it. In legal jargon, project clients have “limited-scope engagements”.
I’m always happy to hear from former project clients about new opportunities. But I don’t commit to stay available to project clients after the current project.
Some project clients pay an hourly rate and expenses. Some project clients play flat rates, for the whole project, per week, or otherwise. Depends on the project.
My going rate for new project work is $500 (USD) per hour. I occasionally lower my rate for clients paying out of pocket, as individuals.
I am available for new consultations. E-mail me anytime.
Consultation clients’ needs can usually be met in a phone call or two, with a follow-up e-mail to memorialize conclusions, addressing a single question or concern. Some consultation clients’ needs straddle legal advice and business consulting, especially on matters of open licensing strategy or novel business structure. These clients often want me to brainstorm different models or approaches, or to double check a plan of their own. Other needs address very specific questions, usually related to compliance with free software, open source, or other public copyright licenses.
Consultation clients pay an hourly rate. Billable time includes our initial introductory phone call.
My going rate for consultation work is $500 (USD) per hour. I occasionally lower my rate for clients paying out of pocket, as individuals.
I’m not currently taking new standby clients.
Standby clients require my help unpredictably. Sometimes deals for standby clients require work for several weeks in a row. Sometimes standby clients go months without messaging me at all. Standby clients often see me as “inside-out counsel”—outside counsel working as general counsel—but their needs are minimal.
Standby clients pay an hourly rate plus expenses.
Pro Bono Clients
I’m not currently taking more pro bono clients.
Pro bono clients do not pay. They are almost always small, tax-exempt charities.
Pro bono clients’ needs vary. However, I usually seek pro bono clients with needs more like regular clients than project clients.
I’m always happy to meet and support fellow lawyers. E-mail me anytime.
Fellow lawyers aren’t law clients, but lawyers themselves. However, colleagues occasionally need help with specific questions, often out of client work, that point to my legal and technical background. Sometimes those needs go beyond what I’ve been able to publish on my blog or with clients through organizations like Blue Oak Council.
When colleagues expect to send me questions for specific clients of theirs here and there, they often ask to pay an hourly rate.
I am always happy to discuss interesting new developments, problems, and hypotheticals with other attorneys who have as much to teach me as I have to teach them. Sometimes I feel I should pay them. I’m happy to do so!