Jane H. Allen was a former federal clerk and attorney with a prominent firm in Nashville, Tenn., when she found herself in a similar position as many attorneys — she was forced to choose between pursuing the partner track or abandoning the career she loved for her family. She thought there was a better way.
Her solution was to continue working for her firm and clients on a more flexible basis and without overhead, at a reduced rate. It was a win-win-win for her, her clients and the firm — and her colleagues quickly took notice. Very organically, Jane soon had a stable of experienced attorneys who did not want to pursue the partner track, but wanted to continue working while focusing on family or other interests. Good lawyers still wanted to work with good lawyers, and that was the foundation when Counsel On Call was formally founded in 2000.
While originally designed for law firms to manage their variable workloads with a variable roster of talented attorneys, Counsel On Call soon saw that corporate legal departments were also a perfect fit for the model. They had a new focus on budgets, workload demands and the need for affordable, flexible expertise. From that point the company grew rapidly, opening new offices and being named to INC magazine’s 500 “fastest growing” companies list three times. By 2006, the company had 30 employees and more than 400 attorneys throughout the country.
In 2007, e-discovery was set to explode. We saw that legal skills, integrated technology and a true process were needed for this work, as opposed to the traditional method of simply throwing masses of attorneys at a matter to make yes or no decisions on millions of documents. Everything should be tracked, reported and evaluated — and our attorneys had those skills. That was when we opened our Managed Services Division, with a focus on project management, the best use of technology, strict quality control protocols, metrics, and the abilities of experienced attorneys who understood the mechanics of documents within a case.
Since 2007 and using our clients’ own metrics, we have saved corporations and firms hundreds of millions of dollars per year in legal expenses — and have grown to include one-third of the FORTUNE 100 and one-quarter of the AmLaw 200 as clients. We continue to provide deeply experienced attorneys on flexible, secondment-style arrangement to our clients, and have expanded our managed services beyond e-discovery to include corporate transactional work, teams of attorneys in numerous, data-driven practice areas, as well as managed associate teams and process design. All attorneys provided by Counsel On Call work under the direction and supervision of in-house or outside legal counsel.
Today, we have 60 employees and more than 1,000 attorneys on our team working domestically and internationally. Our focus remains on great attorneys, project and process management, metrics tracking, transparency and always working in the client’s best interest.