Law Firms

Work-at-home law firm attracts BigLaw refugees

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A law firm that allows lawyers to work from home and keep 80 percent of their billings is attracting talent from larger law firms.

The virtual law firm, Culhane Meadows, has grown from four lawyers at its inception four years ago to more than 60, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports.

The law firm recently announced it is adding a partner who formerly worked at Kirkland & Ellis, and two partners formerly with Steptoe & Johnson.

Lawyers at Culhane Meadows can set their own billing rates and keep 80 percent of the money collected. Partners who originate work but don’t handle a legal matter keep about a third of that 80 percent as an origination credit, while the lawyers doing the work get the other two-thirds.

Culhane Meadows is a spinoff from another virtual law firm, FisherBroyles, which has about 180 partners. Other firms with a similar business model include Potomac Law Group, Rimon and VLP Law Group, and all say their revenue is growing.

Some have questioned whether virtual law firms will be tapped for “bet-the-company” legal matters. “You’d have to assume they’re doing a lot of what’s referred to as commodity work,” an anonymous legal recruiter told the Am Law Daily.

But two Culhane Meadows lawyers who spoke with Am Law Daily said they haven’t had any problems getting adequate staffing for their legal work. Steven Shapiro said a client asked whether he could handle the paperwork for a bond issuance, and he has “every expectation of doing it.”

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