(66) In-House Counsel Demand for Alternative Fees with Jeff Carr

Mathew Kerbis, The Subscription Attorney
Transcript

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Jeff Carr is a former in-house lawyer and Legal Rebel who has spent his career trying to move the legal industry away from the problematic billable hour model. Jeff explains how as a young lawyer, he realized that billing by activity rather than results was misaligned with clients' interests. At his former company, Jeff pioneered alternative fee arrangements like reverse auctions and a model called "ACES" that tied a portion of law firm fees to metrics like effectiveness, efficiency, and client service.

Jeff argues that the traditional billable hour incentivizes lawyers to be inefficient and misses the bigger picture of preventing legal problems before they occur. He envisions a "next law" model where firms are paid to proactively help clients avoid legal issues through process improvements, rather than just reacting to put out fires. This preventative approach, enabled by flat fees or subscriptions, better serves clients while creating more sustainable revenue for firms.

To drive needed change, Jeff believes lawyers must start truly thinking like customers - would they want to pay for activity, or for valuable results? Leveraging AI tools for routine tasks and saving human legal judgment for key decision points could make firms more cost-effective for clients. Overall, Jeff predicts the firms embracing preventive, client-centric models will be the future, while those clinging to the billable hour will become irrelevant.

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Connect with Jeff Carr and follow him @carrnext.

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Law Subscribed
Law Subscribed
Mathew Kerbis interviews attorneys and technologists building for subscription legal services and other innovations within the law.
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