A boutique business law firm for life sciences companies is luring clients with a lower-rate structure that relies on nonlawyer contract experts for template contract work.
Waltham, Mass.-based Faber Daeufer & Rosenberg has attracted more than 200 clients since its October 2003 launch.
According to an article from law.com, the firm began with two lawyers from Cambridge, Mass.-based drug maker Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., and was joined shortly by another Millennium lawyer and contract specialist and one law firm attorney. It currently has 12 lawyers, five contract specialists and two paralegals.
The contract specialists, who each has more than a decade of industry experience, handle "day-to-day contracts," like clinical trial agreements and material transfer agreements.
Legal consultant Marci Krufka, a principal with Altman Weil Inc., said she hasn’t heard of firms using contract specialists, but firms are increasingly hiring nonlawyer professionals to complement their services. "Anytime firms can implement strategies that are innovative and can save their clients money, I know general counsel really appreciate it," Krufka said.
Contract Administrators are also paralegals who have learned a highly specialized niche area. It is not unusual to find Contract Specialists in corporate law departments who were previously paralegals. The Faber firm clients learned the firm’s contract specialists bill at $220 to $280 per hour compared with $290 to $510 for the firm’s attorneys. Saving fees is always good news to the client.
It’s good to hear that law firms attitudes towards utilizing nonlawyer professionals for routine work is expanding to new areas.