A VLO Big Boy Closes Its Doors

Clearspire No Longer Offers Legal Services, But May Just Survive Us All

People have been predicting the end of Big Law for some time now, and technology has promised to break it down. However, it’s tougher than it seems. One of the biggest players in the alternative legal field is Clearspire. It promised to use a virtual law office (VLO) model that provided cheaper legal services by focusing on limited activities and avoiding lavish partner pay. Founded in 2009, they claimed to be adding 100 new attorneys each year.

Now, it’s closing its doors. One of the nation’s largest VLO’s will no longer be doing any legal services. Calling it a “time to scale,” Clearspire let go of its attorneys and is trying to sell its software instead.

Is this a sign of the end-times for the VLO model? Probably not. First, other large players are still using it successfully, like Axiom. Further, more and more small firms and solo practices are adding online services and finding great success. Whenever new things come up there will be winners and losers.

If anything, Clearspire is a great example of how in technology, even a loss can end up a win. Rather than completely dissolve, they are now marketing their software to law firms to create their own virtual practices. And now that they’re no longer burdened by attorney ethics rules, they can raise all the money they want from outside investors. Who knows, in the end Clearspire may do even better this way.

ABA Journal – Once-confident law firm Clearspire closes its virtual doors, but its software will go global

Clearspire – Announcement