• Jessica Eaves Mathews

Gold Stevie Award Winner for Best New Business, Leverage-a-Lawyer LLC

Company: Leverage a Lawyer LLC, Albuquerque, NM

Company Description: Leverage a Lawyer provides virtual outside counsel and in-sourced legal services for small, midsize and large companies. We also provide foundational legal services accessible to entrepreneurs and small businesses as part of Founder and CEO Jessica Eaves Mathews’ mission to support businesses in all stages of growth.

Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories Nomination Sub Category: New Company of the Year

Nomination Title: Leverage a Lawyer

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 500 words):

Leverage-a-Lawyer™ is the first national, virtual law firm for businesses. Our exceptional, experienced attorneys provide world-class, flat fee legal services and virtual general counsel services designed specifically for small to mid-sized companies. Through Leverage-a-Lawyer entrepreneurs and business owners can create a solid legal foundation for their companies quickly, affordably and painlessly.

We have been in existence for a year and a half and in that time, we have created a new kind of law firm that will have a huge influence on how legal services will be delivered to businesses and business owners in the future. Much like Legal Zoom innovated and changed the discussion about how every day people could get access to legal forms, we aim to change how business clients experience legal services.

The traditional business model for law firms is broken. Lawyer’s hourly rate is in conflict with their clients’ best interests and actually creates incentive for lawyers to be inefficient and to create more work for themselves, not less. In that model, clients expect an unpredictable experience and one that will certainly more money than less. They know that they will be billed for a simple email, a voice mail or for reading a letter. They know they will be billed for postage, copies and other administrative costs. They generally feel powerless and uninformed about how to deal with a lawyer, and as a result, many small to mid-sized business owners just avoid dealing with lawyers completely. The downside of this, of course, is that they leave their business operations, assets and hard work exposed to undue risk. This is risk that can easily be minimized with some preventative care by a good business lawyer.

Leverage a Lawyer is the answer. We have found a way to offer a predictable experience for our clients through flat-fees and mostly virtual interaction. We have eliminated much of the overhead of traditional law firms without sacrificing quality of work or intellectual capital. Our clients are happy and we are providing work for experienced lawyers around the country who prefer a flexible work arrangement. It is a win/win for everyone.

We launched a beta program last year and used it to work out the kinks in our systems, figure out pricing, coordination between HQ and staff lawyers, how to deliver services in the most efficient way for both the clients and staff lawyers and how to give clients a high-touch, exceptional customer service experience. Our clients tell us that we are filling the gap between the low-end form services like Legal Zoom and the high hourly rate traditional law firms.

To date, we have clients in Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Illinois, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. And our client list is growing weekly, almost completely through client referrals. Going forward, we will be able to provide legal services clients in all 50 states in a more affordable, streamlined and client-centered way. We aim to be the Zappos of law firms.

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 100 words):

Jessica Eaves Mathews is America’s Advocate for Women in Business™, and is a seasoned business lawyer and has spent her career representing businesses and business owners, from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500. She was the head of litigation and compliance for Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. She has been there in every phase of the business life cycle from start-up on. In 2001 and 2002, Ms. Eaves Mathews was chosen by her peers as a Super Lawyers (aka Washington Law and Politics) "Rising Star," which honors the top 5% of attorneys in the State of Washington under the age of 40. The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.

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