Insights

Atoning for The 7 Deadly Sins of the Legal Industry

November 8, 2022

As one of the world’s oldest professions, the legal industry comes with its own rich history, traditions and prestige. However, it also comes entrenched in negative perceptions, from notions of elitism to out-and-out issues of ego. No Hollywood film would be complete without an unscrupulous greasy haired lawyer, looking to make a quick buck. No televised courtroom would be complete without a well-rehearsed attorney, seeking a win at the cost of justice. And sadly, few businesses have successfully engaged with a law firm, without having to put up a fight with a fax machine first. 

Put simply, the legal industry has long been overdue for a makeover. From casting aside antiquated tech, to parking the three-piece suits, the legal profession has a number of sins to atone for. But what are, in our eyes, the seven deadly sins of the legal industry? Say no more…

Ego

It’s hardly a surprise that ego is at the top of our seven deadly sins countdown. Over the years, the legal industry has picked up a reputation for harbouring arrogant lawyers and egotistical legal teams. While the reality is that most lawyers are hardworking, honest, and helpful, the fact remains that much of the public still sees lawyers as arrogant. For an industry that partners with clients at often their most challenging moments, ego can be a massive blocker to approaching matters with empathy and integrity. 

That’s why we believe the modern lawyer parks their ego at the door and works hand-in-hand with the client in a true partnership. In need of a partner in crime - or rather, law? Discover our flamingo subscription.

Antiquated tech

Sigh. One of us had to say it: the legal industry is not renowned for its cutting-edge use of tech. In fact, it’s become synonymous with fax machines, printers, and onboarding platforms that give smoke signals a run for their money. Given the importance of getting your legals right, the last thing you want is to face the inefficiencies of tech from the 1980s. 

Fortunately, the legal industry has made some progress in recent years - most notably through the rise of LegalTech. From automated contract management to rapidly increased efficiency, the legal industry has taken great strides to evolve from its antiquated past. 

At Stephenson Law, we’ve embraced tech with both arms, from building an AI legal chatbot, to building our very own onboarding solution that cuts weeks of paperwork down to mere hours. Better yet, we leverage LegalTech so your lawyers can work like a well-oiled machine - saving you money in the process. 

From all of us at Stephenson Law HQ: sorry for the technological sins of our legal ancestors. We’re working to make up for it. Next up, a hoverboard that can manage your Series A Investment round. #WatchThisSpace

Legalese

Hereinafter, if one was desirous of communication between the parties mentioned hereunder, sans legalese, and therefore mutatis mutandis of the required modifications, one could…

Cripes. 

Not a good look, right? 

For years the legal industry has been plagued by legalese, isolating clients and fledgling lawyers in the process. And who does legalese benefit? Save from fluffing out a few contracts, legalese often makes comprehending the core components of a document almost impossible, in addition to making the law seem like an inaccessible enterprise. 

At Stephenson Law, we have a personal vendetta against legalese and work hard to ensure we only provide advice that’s in plain English. We get straight to the point, and your sanity is saved in the process. Win-win. 

Amorality

Despite lawyers being driven to seek justice in the eyes of the law, they’ve developed a reputation for supposedly lacking ethics. In many respects, the traditions of the legal industry haven’t helped. From exceedingly high barriers to entry to historically sexist modes of thinking, for many, the legal industry has been a few decades behind progress. 

It was something Alice, our founder, experienced first-hand when she entered the industry as a single tattooed mother unwilling to bend to the legal mould. Her journey eventually led her to founding Stephenson Law, where she placed an emphasis on diversity, difference, and disruption within the legal industry. 

Today, Stephenson Law has one core hiring requirement: No D*cks Please.

Stuffy traditions

Unless we’re talking about Ruth Bader-Ginsberg or Amal Clooney, lawyers are often considered to be a bit of a stuffy bunch. Perhaps it’s due to their love of a three-piece suit. Perhaps it’s their unwavering commitment to the rulebook. Or perhaps it’s simply because they’ve been burdened with being the voice of reason for so long.

We believe in being the voice of reason, we do. And, we also have an unwavering commitment to the laws of the land. However, we don’t think we have to act, look, and speak, in a stuffy way.

A suit and tie doesn’t make a great lawyer. A brilliant brain with the freedom to grow, does. 

That’s why you’re more likely to see our lawyers in a hoodie - it makes them more comfortable at work. That’s why you’re more likely to speak to our team in plain English - we don’t enjoy legalese either. And, it’s why the advice we deliver is pragmatic, forward-thinking, and fit-for-purpose. Though we have to be the voice of reason, it doesn’t mean we can’t also be the voice of opportunity. 

Fence-sitting

Speaking of being the voice of reason… have you ever received advice from a lawyer that left you more confused than when you started? We get it. 

Having spent their careers honing in on their legal expertise, lawyers have a lot of advice to impart. However, despite best intentions, not all of that knowledge will necessarily help you further in your mission. At times, lawyers have developed a reputation for sitting on the fence, resisting the opportunity to tell you how they really feel. While this might afford you a lot of legal advice to work with, it doesn’t help you make business decisions with the vocal backing of your lawyer. 

At Stephenson Law, we rebel against fence-sitting and understand that today’s founders, CEOs, and in-house teams need practical advice that maps out the road ahead. You won’t catch us sitting on the fence. We give you the expertise and insight you need to make a choice, with the legal infrastructure to protect you from risk. 

Convoluted pricing

This is a big one within the legal industry, propagated by many big law firms that champion the billable hour - and an expensive one on that. Picture this: you engage with a lawyer, discuss the scope of a project, and prepare to start work. All of a sudden as the project unfolds, you begin to receive invoices above and beyond what had been discussed - in addition to surprise invoices you didn’t even know were coming. 

It’s an all too familiar story for many who have worked with lawyers and put simply, it’s a bit of a nightmare. Convoluted and clouded pricing has earned the legal industry a reputation for being a financial black hole for businesses. Put simply, it’s not cost-effective, it makes budgeting nigh on impossible, and it serves to create a distance between clients, and the legal care they deserve.

As plain English speakers, we also hate poor communication, and that extends to how we price our work, and how we advertise that pricing. That’s why you’ll not only find the pricing for our flamingo subscription on our site, but you’ll also find different pricing packages designed to allow you to budget, plan, and prepare for your legal support. Better yet, it equips you with a bolt-on legal team for a cost-effective price you can predict. 

Convoluted pricing… begone.

Atoning for the sins of the legal industry

So, that’s our top seven deadly sins of the legal industry. We could go on… but there’s no such thing as the 8 deadly sins, is there? 

We care about your company's growth, almost as much as you do. It’s why fast-growth game-changers like Gymshark, Multiverse, and Onfido choose to work with our ego-free-tech-first–legalese-ending-ethical-driven-modern-decisive- lawyers. 

Ok.

Maybe that sentence is the 8th sin, we’ll give you that one.

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