Paragon Legal, started by Mae Tai O’Malley around 2007, places former in-house lawyers – usually women – inside companies on a project basis. According to Fortune, July 4, 2011 at 77, Paragon “has more than 60 lawyers, 85% of whom are women with school-age kids.” They are billing at close to $200 an hour. Paragon is doing well since its total billings this year will hit $8 million.
Here is yet another choice for general counsel: hire someone, retain a law firm, or rent a project lawyer. With the project-lawyer choice, it may be that you can hire that person after you have battle tested them (See my post of Feb. 27, 2008: fees owed to temp agencies when you hire someone they placed.). The news item also reminds us yet again of the difficulties women lawyers with small children have when they try to balance family and work. Paragon gives many of them a welcome choice, and one that benefits general counsel.