Law Firm Refugees ‘Chill Out,’ Make Big Bucks at Upstart Firms

Some upstart legal groups are hiring lawyers from big law firms who want to work reduced hours and take a break from the daily legal grind.

The lawyers often work from home or in the offices of the clients who hire them, the Wall Street Journal reports. At one of these new firms, New York-based Axiom Global Inc., the lawyers are paid only when working but receive benefits between assignments.

Other companies with a similar business model include Outside GC in Boston and Phillips & Reiter in Houston. These companies are able to charge less because there is no need to pay high-priced partners and big rents to house lawyers working in the office.

Joe Risico joined Axiom after working at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for about five years. “I wanted to chill out and try something different,” he told the Wall Street Journal. He says he earns about $250,000 a year, about the same as a sixth- or seventh-year associate at Cravath, but he receives no bonus. This week he will start a new assignment at Credit Suisse Group.

Other clients of Axiom include Morgan Stanley, Virgin Mobile USA and Xerox Corp.

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