What We Are Not
In some ways, what you claim NOT to be says more about you than what you claim to be.
Let me explain.
When you look at a company’s marketing, that marketing is only helpful if it would be reasonable for another company to take the opposite position in their marketing.
For example, we believe our law firm has hard-working, smart lawyers who are dedicated to our clients’ needs. That sounds good. But it also doesn’t tell you much. Every law firm says that. Have you seen a business that advertises itself as lazy, unprepared, and indifferent to its clients’ needs?
What’s most interesting about any business is not what’s identical to every other business. It’s the things that one business does that others don’t. If you want to know what’s essential and different about a business – you need to know the controversial positions they’re willing to take.
With that in mind, let me explain a few things about our firm:
We’re Not All About The Money. Don’t get us wrong; we run a business and need to get paid. But both partners in the firm used to make more money than we do now. And we could be making more money now at larger firms if that were our priority. We both started our careers doing just that, working at two of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country.
And we left that lifestyle behind. Now we make a good living prioritizing human beings and their businesses. We do what we do by choice, so that we can have better relationships with real people, have the time to see our client as more than billing numbers, and live better lives. And it’s something we’re grateful for every day.
We Think the Best Lawyers Aren’t the Ones Who Win in Court: It’s the Lawyers Whose Business Clients Never Go There. One thing we take extreme pride in with our practice is the documents we draft aren’t winding up in court.
Don’t get us wrong – if someone harms our clients, we’ll take whatever steps are necessary to defend their rights. We’ve stared down Fortune 500 CEOs in depositions and taken briefs to the United States Supreme Court. There are some individuals or companies that will only listen to litigation, that won’t play by the rules unless forced. When that’s the case, we’re ready to lead the charge.
But our litigation experience stems from arguing over documents and issues created by other lawyers (or – as is very often the case, by companies or individuals that didn’t bother hiring a lawyer in the first place).
We can’t promise that our contracts won’t ever be challenged in court; people can file lawsuits for all sorts of reasons. But our documents staying out of court isn’t just good fortune; it’s by design. At all times and in every scenario, we try to create clear language and strategies to avoid confusion and conflict. And we’ve had a very good track record as a result.
We Don’t Want To Be Your Bulldog. There’s a stereotype of the “bulldog” lawyer: snarling, angry, pushy, and hyper-aggressive. If that’s what you want in a lawyer, look elsewhere. We believe our clients are usually best served by making win-win deals with a longer-term perspective, not by burning bridges and making enemies. We want people on the other side to know that we will collaborate to solve problems rather than create new ones. We take the long view of your future and reputation, and ours. Colorado’s a small community; we will all keep seeing the same players. We believe in firm, determined, and zealous advocacy of our clients without resorting to belligerent behavior. That means professional behavior that never jeopardizes our clients’ reputations or our own.
We Don’t Pay to Play. Particularly in the startup community, there are many law firms that get to where they are by “paying to play.” Want to be a law-firm mentor for the state’s most prestigious accelerator? $10,000 is the minimum sponsorship level. Want to have your name featured at venture capital summits? Bring your checkbook. If you hire one of those law firms, know that you’re paying for more than just legal services; your precious startup resources are being used to pay for their event sponsorship. They’re counting on the fact that you seeing their name on the marquee at the event will be what wins your business.
That approach doesn’t feel right to us. We’ve never been hired by a single client this way. We prefer to earn our clients through the quality of our work, our involvement in the startup community, and the endorsements of our long list of satisfied clients.
We Don’t Play Both Sides of the Field. Some law firms in the startup community have so many conflicts with venture capitalists that their conflict-of-interest waivers are included as boilerplate in their startup documents. That’s a pretty good sign that you need a different law firm.
Follow the money. When your attorney gets paid more from your investors than he or she does from you, there’s a good chance your lawyer won’t actually be looking out for your best interests. Whenever we have history representing a venture capitalist or investor, we don’t represent the startup that’s receiving an investment from that investor. If you hire us to represent you, we have to be able to represent you completely, or we won’t work with you.
That’s the only way we know how to do our jobs.
If You Don’t Understand Our Legal Documents, We Haven’t Done Our Job. While we don’t expect to give our clients a law school education, we do think that it’s our job to explain what we’re doing in clear language that an educated lay person can understand. We don’t think 17th-century legalese is reflective of high quality legal work; we think it shows a lazy law firm that is long overdue for updating their documents.
If You’re Choosing a Law Firm because of How Fancy Its Office Is, You’re Using the Wrong Firm. If your law firm has marble floors or a 41st-story view, you’re paying for that. Having previously worked on the 41st floor at a super-expensive law firm, we can assure you that the fancy offices aren’t for the clients’ benefit. Our firm believes in minimizing our overhead—we don’t need a fancy office and we don’t think you should have to pay for it. Our outlook is simple: legal services are expensive. We provide the best legal services at the best price we can—without the marble floors and expensive modern art in the lobby.
We’d rather you save your money for the day that you can get the fancy office. Or just pay yourself more. Paying more to make us look more professional is simply not part of our business plan.
We Believe that Cheap Can Get Expensive. While we don’t have the hourly rates of large firms, we don’t pretend to be the cheapest legal services out there either. Lowest-cost providers—pairing legally-unsophisticated clients with inexperienced attorneys—are simply dangerous.
We are established and growing. We take on clients because we can bring value to those clients and, well, we enjoy the work we’re doing. We aren’t desperate for the next client to keep the doors open.
Ultimately, we believe the best deals in the legal community are to be found with lawyers who have big firm experience but have left behind the big firm mentality (and the big firm rates).
It doesn’t make sense to go online and look for the cheapest car you can find. The cheapest car is likely to be dangerous. So too with lawyers.
When you’re searching for a car, you want the safest, most reliable car that has the features that matter for you. If what matters to you in legal services is efficient, top-pedigree attorneys with absolutely minimal overhead, then we think we’re the firm for you.
We Believe the Best Lawyers Have Done More Than One Thing Their Entire Career. Our lawyers haven’t just been document monkeys our whole career. We’ve worked for federal and state judges. We’ve litigated and argued—from trial courts to the U.S. and state supreme courts. We’ve worked with Fortune 500 clients and brand-new businesses. We’ve worked on billion-dollar lawsuits. We’ve represented billionaire investors. We’ve taught law to college and graduate students.
Beyond representing more than 250 startups and small to mid-sized businesses in our current practice, we have a broad range of experience to draw from that informs our professional understanding. We know the legal consequences of what we do in a way that extends beyond the four corners of legal documents. That’s something that benefits our clients every day.
We’re Looking for Business Partners for Life. While both of us have been attorneys for more than a decade and we have a broad range of legal experience, we both expect that we have more of our legal careers ahead of us than behind us. We expect the clients who hire us today will still be our business partners in 30 years.
When you think about things from that perspective, it changes the way you do business.
We don’t care as much about next month’s revenue as much as we care about delivering high-quality services to great clients for the rest of our careers. This month’s bill matters less than a lifelong relationship.
We’re not afraid to tell clients who aren’t a good fit to go elsewhere.
So if you’re on the internet shopping around for price quotes, feel free to shop elsewhere.
We don’t want to work with short-term thinkers or bargain hunters. We want to work with clients who understand value and the value we provide, who think deeply about what they want in a business partner. We think that if you talk to us and still think we’re no different from everyone else, that you weren’t paying close enough attention.
With that in mind, we’re happy to let you reach out to any of the nearly 300 clients who have worked with us so far. Ask them about our intelligence and independence. Ask them if they’re happy they hired us and not someone else.
If you’re still on the fence, we’re happy to have you ask them why we’re different.
If our firm appeals to you and you’re interested in hiring us to help with your business, please fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.