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I have 2,143 lawyer jokes queued up. Here’s a good one:
The devil visited a lawyer’s office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you, " the devil said. "I’ll increase your income five-fold. Your partners will love you; your clients will respect you; you’ll have four months of vacation each year and live to be a hundred. All I require in return is that your wife’s soul, your children’s souls, and their children’s souls rot in hell for eternity." The lawyer thought for a moment. "What’s the catch?" he asked.
Now some of my good friends are lawyers and several of my very best friends are ex-lawyers. You probably know one of them – my partner at Foundry Group – Jason Mendelson. When Jason started his blog, he made the wise choice of starting a series titled Law Firm 2.0. His first post – Why Start-up Lawyers Frustrate Me – pissed off all of his lawyer friends, generated 54 comments, and was reprinted all over the place. Not a bad start for a blog.
He continued posting about Law Firm 2.0. One day he was approached by some interesting folks at a company called FirstDocs who shared a lot of similar ideas. You can read about it more in Jason’s post Our Investment in Law Firm 2.0. The outcome, as you might expect, is that we closed an investment in FirstDocs at the end of last year.
Now, we usually do not invest in companies aimed at vertical markets. However, we make exceptions when we have extremely deep domain knowledge and expertise. In addition, we view having past success as a bonus, such as our previous experience in the legal vertical market with Stratify (which Iron Mountain acquired in 2007.)
A lawyer died and arrived at the pearly gates. To his dismay, there were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter. But, to his surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where the lawyer was standing. St. Peter greeted him warmly. Then St. Peter and one of his assistants took the lawyer by the hands and guided him up to the front of the line into a comfortable chair by his desk. The lawyer said, "I don’t mind all this attention, but what makes me so special?" St. Peter replied, "Well, I’ve added up all the hours for which you billed your clients, and by my calculation you must be about 193 years old!" (ahajokes)
I look forward to seeing Jason, Dan Gaffney, and the team at FirstDocs increase the efficiency of lawyers.