Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is a global law firm with a broad range of practice areas. Founded in San Francisco in 1863, Orrick has become a leader in innovative practices and technologies to better serve its customers and community, which has enabled the firm to thrive in a highly competitive market and grow to over 1,100 attorneys and 22 offices worldwide.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Orrick's Emerging Companies Group is constantly on the search for the "next big technology start-up company," as Lowell Ness, an Orrick partner explains. "We're in a highly competitive market. What we're really looking for is the two-person, garage-stage company that has the potential to be the next Google. If we can identify that company in its early development stage, we can then work towards establishing it as a long-term client."
Start-up companies need a variety of basic legal instruments, everything from formation documents to venture financing documents. "We felt like offering basic term sheets to start-ups for free benefits the start-up community and is a great marketing tool for us," explains Ness. "Working with start-ups is a numbers game so we really have to be efficient in working with them." The reason, of course, is the failure rate among start-ups."We have to kiss a lot of frogs to find each prince," adds Ness. To streamline the process, Orrick turned to HotDocs.
Orrick began by automating its existing set of 500 start-up company forms with HotDocs Developer. The firm then designed interactive interviews for each template with helpful annotations enabling even the most junior lawyers to quickly answer the questions. "The key to the strategy," explains Ness, "was making the templates available on Orrick's internal portal - so they could easily be accessed by anyone." For this, Orrick deployed HotDocs Corporation's state-of-the-art Server technology, which supports browser-based template interviews.
Orrick now offers its Term Sheet Creator as part of its Start-up Tool Kit on its external web site, which enables clients to get term sheets for free, but also enables clients to collaborate with Orrick by doing their own data entry. "It's a great calling card for our firm," explains Ness. "Anyone can come to our site, select a term sheet template, run through the interview, generate a custom document and send us the answer file, which we then use to create all the other documents involved in the transaction. It's a high-volume approach that affords us interaction with lots of potential clients in a short amount of time. The bottom line is HotDocs gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace."