UpCounsel is an online service that makes it easier for businesses to find and hire legal help for the long-term based on their needs, location, preferences. It’s founded on the idea that law firms charge their clients 60% in overhead costs. By providing lawyers with an online platform that eliminates their need for a physical office, they can charge lower, more transparent rates to a broader range of clients. (UpCounsel does require lawyers to apply to be on their platform. They say only 5% of lawyer applications are accepted and that their attorneys have an average of 14 years of experience).
Based on the website, UpCounsel seems to focus on enterprise clients, including large legal departments, executives, and HR departments. But it does have a wide range of startup clients, although it may not be the most affordable option for sole proprietors.
How it works:
You post a job based on your location, area of need and specific issues/questions. Then, based on UpCounsel’s algorithm, you get proposals back from lawyers who seem to best match your needs. Then it’s up to you to review the proposals, schedule free consultations, and hire a lawyer at the rate you specified up front.