DC Firm Breaks Billable-Hour Mold: No Rainmaking, Office Face Time

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on May 26, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Otaku: a Japanese term for a person who stays at home all day, playing video games and surfing the net. Essentially, a hermit, who's only association with the outside world is through online communication.

Ever wanted to be a law firm otaku? You could, if you worked for Clearspire, a new D.C. firm that has an unconventional business strategy that includes virtual home offices and no billable hours.

That's right - Clearspire offers an upfront estimate of the cost of whatever service you request of them, and also gives people the exact details of who will be working on their case. No longer are important deals staffed by lowly first-year associates who are fresh off of memorizing the rule against perpetuities for the bar exam. Instead, the client might actually get someone who is (gasp) able to handle their case competently!

Before you write this firm off as just another new-age hippie startup, you should consider who's running this new shindig. Bryce Arrowood is Clearspire's CEO - but he's not an attorney. Confused? Well, Arrowood has experience with the legal field. He used to head up LawCorps Corp., a contract legal staffing firm that was sold in 2003, reports The Washington Post.

Clearspire's other head honcho is Mark A. Cohen, a former assistant U.S. attorney and an ex-partner at Finley Kumble, and also a founder of his very own boutique firm.

The two upstarts have contributed about $5 million into this venture.

Before all of you up-and-comers start writing your job applications for this otaku firm, keep this in mind: they only have about 10 attorneys. And, most of them have experience as general counsels at various companies, reports The Washington Post.

Though, think about the possibilities if this Clearspire model becomes widespread. You could be in your jammies all day. Maybe even naked.

Your significant other might actually remember that you exist. You would no longer need to stare incessantly at the clock, trying to calculate how much time you've spent responding to your client's 1000th e-mail about that deal. Life could be tolerable.

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