Exemplar Law Partners is causing quite a stir. This is the Boston firm, launched and led by CEO Christopher Marston, that touts "No Hourly Bill, No Hourly Bull."
Many are keeping a watchful eye on this firm.
Some hope beyond hope that Exemplar succeeds because it will mean they lead, in the limelight, the movement away from timesheet-based billing in the legal profession. If Exemplar pulls it off, maybe their firm can, too.
Others speculate (and I suspect even hope) that the firm won't be able to make it work. Surprised I'd say that?
I believe that some people hope the firm will fail as proof that their comfortable-as-an-old-pair-of-jeans hourly model isn't broken after all. And if it fails, they don't ever have to think about addressing such a massive change in their firms.
There's no doubt...changing IS hard to do. It requires forethought and planning. I admit that, having done it myself for a long time, hourly is most certainly the laziest way to price.
There are many skeptics to the concept of value billing. This isn't a casual topic easily dismissed with a subject change. This topic evokes more passion, on both sides of the discussion, than I've ever witnessed in the professions.
Most of those who can nod their head a bit at the idea of value pricing cannot understand or accept that timesheets shouldn't be used in a firm that doesn't bill hourly.
Actually, practitioners who've made the switch from hourly to value are the strongest proponents of ditching timekeeping. They know it keeps them mired in the thinking that time (perceived as cost) should impact price. Read a true tale of the evolving mindset of accountants that made the switch quite successfully.
The purpose of my post is to tell you that Chris Marston of Exemplar has started a blog called Inside the Firm of the Future in order to share his firm's growth in this process.
Exemplar, I admire all of you for what you are doing--especially for your "Believing is Seeing." May you succeed beyond everyone's wildest dreams.