Sarah Kellogg of The Washington Lawyer pens a piece on the benefits – both to a client and lawyer’s quality of life – of virtual law firms, and Earth & Water Group is mentioned.
[T]he adoption of virtual practices, albeit slow, has ensured that both firms and lawyers can address billing rate pressures, reduce costs for clients, and injet a measure of freedom into attorney’s professional lives by leaving behind traditional practices. It also guarantees a level of financial autonomy that is rarely found in conventional practices where partners are expected to take on financial and leadership roles.
“Increasingly, the big firm model is broken,” says Brent Fewell, chair and founder of Earth & Water Group, a D.C.-based virtual law and consulting firm. “I’m surprised that more companies and clients aren’t pushing back on that. The virtual model presents an opportunity for lawyers who are burned out on the big firm model and want to try something different, who want to win back their former clients, and who want to still practice and experience an improved quality of life.”
“I had worked with big firms, and my clients had concerns over increasing rates,” says Fewell. “I had frankly, lost a number of clients and lost opportunities because rates were so high in my old law firm. I wanted to work with clients and was precluded from working with them because of rate structurees.”
“Our platform is really beneficial for anyone with a $400,000 to $800,000 book of business,” says Fewell. “It’s very attractive because they can keep their hourly rates reasonable, and they get to keep most of that income. Big firms pay 40 cents on the dollar. The virtual platform allows you to keep 80 or 90 percent of your earnings.”
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